IN May INEOS took its talented third year graduates on an adventure of a lifetime to test and expand their limits, build their fitness, and show them what they are truly capable of
IT is a team-building exercise only the likes of INEOS would have devised for its graduates.
But company chairman Jim Ratcliffe believes anything is possible with the right attitude and that’s why they have been set the rarest and toughest of team challenges.
“It’s remarkable what people can do and accomplish when they turn the brakes off in their head,” he said.
For six days, the 29 graduates ran, hiked and biked 250km in the blistering heat through the untouched Namibian desert, the last frontier of the big 3 – the lion, the black rhino and the desert elephant.
They passed over ancient volcanic craters, climbed the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest peak, and conquered the unforgiving basalt lavas of the Ugab on foot.
“Although they enured gruelling physical conditions, and running and cycling on sand, the rewards will be huge,” said project leader John Mayock.
The graduates, who include eight women, began their epic journey from Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast on Saturday May 6.
“I have noticed a few of them were a little nervous, but the positive camaraderie amongst them was fantastic,” said John.
Jim is no stranger to danger. He is one of only a handful of people who has made it to both the North and South Pole. He joined the graduates along with Simon Laker, INEOS Group Operations Director, and fitness and medical experts.
“Part of the INEOS philosophy is to encourage people to take on more,” he said. “If you can, I believe you should maximise the number of days in your life that are unforgettable.”
INCH will cover a full report of the event in its next edition due out in July.
PAIR FOCUS ON TASK AHEAD AS INEOS TURNS UP THE HEAT
INEOS graduates Hannah Salter and Kasper Hawinkel feared the intense heat more than anything.
But the thought of running, climbing and cycling in 43 C kept them both focused on the need to train well before they flew to Namibia.
“All these anxieties have been very helpful in making sure I do enough of the right types of preparation,” said Hannah, 30.
Aside from the heat, plenty appealed to them about the trip, not least sleeping under the stars at the top of a mountain and making friends for life.
“A lot of my university friends are jealous,” said Kasper, 28. “Their team-building exercises have involved obstacle courses and go-karting.”
Neither Kasper nor Hannah views themselves as athletic, but both love the outdoors. Hannah loves kayaking; Kasper plays water polo.
“The trip is my idea of a great holiday, albeit an extreme version of one,” said Hannah, a Procurement Specialist of Polymer Additives, Catalysts and Chemicals for O&P Europe.
Kasper is a production engineer at INEOS Oxide in Antwerp, Belgium.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a great challenge to test and expand the limits,” he said.