Page 66 - TheManger09092011

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who’ve just taken their team into
the Barclays Premier League know they have a
proverbial mountain to climb. Swansea City’s Brendan
Rodgers was slightly diferent... he knew he was about
to climb an actual mountain.
It was no ordinary mountain either; just two weeks
after leading his team to victory over Reading in the
npower Championship play-of fnal, Rodgers packed
his bag and set of as part of a 17-strong team (which
also included fellow LMA member Aidy Boothroyd
Sky Sports
pundit Chris Kamara) to climb Africa’s
highest peak, the 19,341ft Kilimanjaro.
Te team took on the challenge to raise funds for
Marie Curie Cancer Care, but Rodgers also had a more
personal reason for getting involved. “My mother had
worked throughout her life as a volunteer for [the Irish
overseas aid charity] Trocaire, travelling the world and
raising hundreds of thousands of pounds,” he explains.
“She passed away in February of 2010 and it was on her
anniversary that I frst started to think about how
I might be able to take on some charitable work and
carry it out in her honour.
“Also, in December of last year, my father was
diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and, having seen
what the Marie Curie people do for people in his
Swansea manager prepares for frst season in top fight with gruelling charity climb
situation, I had no hesitation in getting involved
when I was approached.”
Although the climb was physically gruelling, Rodgers
thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “Tere was a great
sense of equality up there,” he says. “We had people
from all walks of life, all pulling together and helping
each other along. It gave me a great sense of fulflment
when we eventually made it to the top.”
Rodgers set himself an initial target of raising a
total of £2,000 in sponsorship, but exceeded his own
expectations by eventually bringing in more than
£25,000 for the charity.
Although he’s unlikely to fnd much time to
undertake any further challenges over the course of his
frst season in charge of a top fight team, Rodgers is
keen to ensure that the African trek will not be the end
of his fund-raising eforts. “It’s impossible to commit
myself to anything outside of football at the moment,”
he says, “but I would defnitely like to do something
similar every year if I can.”
And Swansea City fans can take heart from the fact
that their manager now has valuable experience of
climbing mountains under his belt.
Brendan Rodgers (front row, fourth
from right) and the rest of the team
celebrate achieving their goal