Climbing Africa’s highest mountain and cricket mightn’t appear to have much in common, but Queenstown lawyer Russell Mawhinney’s making a link late next month.
The 63-year-old’s climbing Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro as a fundraising exercise for two cricket trusts supporting promising young players.
He’s climbing it with a similar-aged Arrowtown mate, Dave Hodgson, and assorted porters and guides, having wanted to do it since his Everest Base Camp Trek in 2018.
Mawhinney believes he’ll be fit enough for what’s ‘‘just a high-altitude hike, it’s just the altitude that I think’s the tough part’’.
The Everest trek peaks at 5545 metres above sea level but Kilimanjaro’s peak is 400m higher, he points out.
Taking the high road: Russell Mawhinney
He says his party’s taking the longer but easier-than-others Lemosho route, which allows for better acclimatisation — ‘‘it’s got a higher
success rate of getting to the top’’.
A former first-class cricketer who’s currently Otago Cricket Association’s chairman, Mawhinney’s also using the climb to fundraise for the Heartland Cricket Trust and the Otago Cricket Fundraising Charitable Trust.
He set up the former in 2019 to support talented young country players in Otago/Southland with the likes of travel to Dunedin for squad
‘‘It’s something I feel pretty strongly about, the good the game can do for young people.’’
Mawhinney’s set up both a ‘Kilimanjaro for Cricket’ Facebook page and a Givealittle page.
To donate, visit rb.gy/jvn3ov