Meet the Team

The Team

Stephanie Solomonides

Stephanie will be the first person from Cyprus to ski to the South Pole.

Tell us about your country…

StephanieCyprus has always had a troubled history due to it's strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean, having been subject to many conquerors from foreign lands. In the last one thousand years of Cyprus' history the Franks, the Lusignans, the Venetians, the Ottomans, more recently the British, are a few of the occupiers that at one time ruled the small island. Many structures remain as a reminder of this rich culture and history that makes the island unique.

Since 1974, the ongoing illegal Turkish occupation of Cyprus has resulted in Nicosia - the capital and where I live - to still remain the last divided city of Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is a bustling cosmopolitan city built around ancient walls which betray the rich history that predominantly illustrates Cyprus.

Language and religion are closely related to the development of political situations in Cyprus, as with the survival of it's people. Both have served as main political, social and educational influences; while surviving and striving to keep our heritage intact has acted as a unifying goal of the island's people during times of occupation and hardship.

What previous experience did you have before joining the expedition team?

I have always been very active through my love of sports and enjoyed being part of a team. I used to play tennis and swim competitively for many years. During my formative years at The English School (Nicosia), I represented my school in hockey and athletics, was a member of all the sports teams of my House - captaining softball and hockey - while ultimately in my final year at school, I was elected Sports House Captain. I continued with hockey on a more social level during my undergraduate studies at the University of Durham, and still enjoy recreation swimming. I had skied before but never considered it a favoured past-time!

Why are you doing this?

On many levels the challenges provided by this expedition are the biggest incentive. I love adventures, and this could definitely be considered the ultimate one! It will give me great personal satisfaction to have participated and completed successfully something that is so far from my comfort zone. To be part of a team that could potentially spread the word of intercultural understanding (something very significant with regards to Cyprus), racial and religious tolerance, while also promote the modern Commonwealth woman, is inspiring and helped cemented by decision to become involved. Already, being part of such a diverse team and forging an important bond with these women has been a unique experience. One can only imagine what a life-changing experience the expedition could be...

What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt while training and preparing for the expedition?

Good communication, trust, honesty and teamwork will be the key to our success.

How will this expedition change you as a person?

I hope it will make me a better person, and with this, help inspire other people to live their dreams.

Where is Cyprus?

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia) and is named after the abundant copper reserves discovered on the island during the ancient times?It has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and the Cyprus flag is the only flag in the world that features it's country on it.

Message from Demetris Christofias, President of Cyprus

‘This expedition is important for Cyprus and the Commonwealth for a number of reasons….the amount of effort and resolve required by these women, will bring to the forefront the importance and benefits of intercultural cooperation, and raise awareness on gender issues, proving at the same time the important role that women can play in our societies. ‘

Thanks and Acknowledgements:

Family and friends, the Costas and Rita Severis Foundation.
Kaspersky Lab, The Republic of Cyprus Ministry of Justice and Public Order (the National Machinery for Women's Rights program), Medcon Constructions Ltd, Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Computer Society, TSYS International, Caramondanis Bros Ltd, BPW Cyprus, Komanetsi Fitness Center, Cyprus Airways, PIRAEUS BANK (CYPRUS) LTD

Click on a flag to go that team member's information!

  • Brunei
  • Cyprus
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • UK
  • Worldwide

 

Book this team member to speak at your next event ...

The team are available as speakers at events worldwide. All enquiries to Sarah Isherwood at The London Speaker Bureau on + 44 (0)1635 237785 or by emailing sarah@londonspeakerbureau.co.uk

 

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent nations that support each other and work together towards international goals of development, democracy and peace. The Commonwealth nations represent a diverse range of cultures, faiths, geographies and social histories from every continent across the globe. Together, the membership represents the interests of over 2 billion citizens - that is 30% of the World's entire population.

You can read more about the work of the Commonwealth at  www.thecommonwealth.org