As the new school year commenced at St. Ailbe’s Secondary School, as teachers and pupils settle back into routine, an extraordinary man called Adrian Hayes visited the school to give a motivational talk to the students and celebrate with them the raising of the Green Flag.
What could be described as clichés, such as, “always set yourself a goal and strive for it,” and “have belief in yourself… anything is possible,” were phrases that from another person, may have gone straight over the students heads… but this time the person saying them had proved their value, lived through the experience and was well-qualified to justify them.
Adrian Hayes is a British record-breaking polar explorer & adventurer, best known for reaching the three extreme points of the Earth called the Three Poles Challenge, that involved walking all the way to the North Pole, South Pole and summiting Mt. Everest, all in the shortest period of time of 1 year, 217 days and making first Guinness World record. He is one of only fifteen people in the world to complete this. In 2009, Adrian along with Canadians Devon McDiarmid and Derek Crowe set a second Guinness World record for the longest unsupported snow-kiting journey in Arctic history, the 3,120 kilometers (1,940 mi) vertical crossing of the Greenland ice cap and in 2012 Guinness book of Records for the first person to travel the length of Greenland on skis propelled by wind.
“Adrian’s positive demonstration was a hit with the students,” said teacher Patrick Kennedy. “It gave them an insight to his life, the dedication, motivation and self- belief he has in himself to achieve such personal goals. He was witty, engaging and informative about the challenges and obstacles that you face in life but with enough hard work and perseverance anything is possible.”
Adrian has roots in Tipperary Town. His late father Connie Hayes was from 19 Davis Street, Tipperary Town who emigrated to Southampton, England at the age of eighteen. Connie was the first cousin of the late nurse Mairead Kennedy (Matron) of St. Josephs Nursing Home, Market Street, Tipperary Town.
Just back from climbing K2, Adrian also an ambassador and leader on economic, social and environmental sustainability, was happy to visit his cousins in Tipperary Town and raise the Green Flag with the students at St. Ailbe’s. He said “It’s great to share my experiences .I hope it will given them inspiration to achieve their goals in life,”
With Adrian’s Tipperary roots and the phase, “Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows,” we may take license to bend it’s meaning a little and claim our own Tom Crean-like lineage. “It’s a long way to Tipperary, but it’s even further to the three extreme points of the earth.”Congratulations to St. Ailbe’s on the raising of the Green Flag. For more information on Adrian Hayes go to: www.adrianhayes.com