Leading the Way

December 6, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Adventure sports enthusiast Rozanne Green shares her love of adventure sports with those who can sense them, feel them, smell them…but not see them.

In the last few months, the 51-yr-old IT systems developer has escorted two blind Sydneysiders on the Everest Base Camp Trek and accompanied one of them on an ocean swim.

Rozanne Green and Charlie McConnell

Green told J-Wire: “Shortly after Yom Kippur, I headed to Nepal with Charlie McConnell and Nick Gleeson who are both blind and escorted them on the Everest  Base Camp Trek. But we also took a side trip climbing the formidable Kala Pattar summiting at 5555m…a point higher than Everest Base Camp.”

Last weekend, Green, who lives in North Bondi, accompanied Charlie McConnell on a 1 km ocean swim at Coogee Beach in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

438 swimmers finished the swim…but many were pulled out of the water suffering from hypothermia. Charlie McConnell and Rozanne Green made it to the finishing line in under 42 minutes.

Green told J-Wire: “Charlie and I trained twice at Bondi Beach and once in a pool. Charlie did not want to be touched…he wanted to swim completely on his own without tethering. We developed a technique by which I simply shouted instructions to him.”

With that accomplishment firmly under her belt, it was to be some time before she and Charlie could celebrate their achievement. A quick goodbye to O’Connell and Green headed for the ocean again, this time participating

Rozanne Green and Charlie McConnell

by herself in the 2 km swim.

Charlie McConnell, a 61-yr-old postal worker from Toongabbie, wrote to Green: “I did not want to let on but I was very nervous and a little uncertain and half way through I said to myself I would never take this on again.

Once I calmed down helped by your encouragement I felt a little more comfortable and got some energy back. It was a challenge for me but once I completed I now know I have a time to beat.

I was pleased they did not try to pull me out as I was too slow. So enjoyed it and the space blanket was a little over the top but better safe then sorry.

Felt good about the time you were rounding the island. Thanks for your time and effort to get me across the line.

They told me that a lot of people were pulled out as they were to cold so that is a bit of a victory for me.

I love the time. Something to beat next year. 0:41:42 only 3 minutes behind the field – will catch them next year.”

Rozanne Green joined Achilles, a disabled runners’ club, as a volunteer 15 years ago. Nine years ago, she accompanied Charlie McConnell on a successful ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro in South Africa. With Nick Gleeson, 47, from Padstow and who works for Vision Australia, she has run the New York Marathon and Sydney’s City to Surf.

Next on the menu? “Charlie wants to try kayaking”, Green told J-Wire.


One Response to “Leading the Way”
  1. Odile Faludi says:

    What a beautiful story and a lesson for us all. Rozanne you are bringing such confidence and joy to others. Your generous spirit is inspiring!

    Best regards,
    Odile Faludi

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