Arctic/Antarctic

'I really hope I can inspire people': Polar Preet on Antarctic expedition

Captain Harpreet Chandi's attempt to become the first woman of colour to cross the Antarctic unsupported begins next month.

British Army officer Captain Harpreet Chandi has spoken to Forces News about how she is hoping to inspire people as she prepares to become the first woman of colour to cross the Antarctic unsupported.

The physiotherapist from 3 Medical Regiment, who is being sponsored by BFBS, will be completely on her own during the challenge which is set to last 45 days.

She will have no resupplies and will battle temperatures of -50C and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

The idea has been in the making for two years, and next month is when it becomes a reality, as she will be dropped at a camp in Hercules Inlet before travelling 700 miles on foot to the south pole.

Capt Chandi, known as 'Polar Preet', said she is "more excited than nervous" as she steps up her training and preparation.

"When I came up with the idea two and a half years ago I definitely was nervous, and I definitely still am a little bit but I am also super excited to get out there and start," she told Forces News during a training session in Derby.

"I know what this means to me and what I can achieve from this, not just for me but for a lot of other people too."

She hopes her expedition will inspire more women of colour to do the extraordinary.

"I'm not the image that people expect when you talk about polar explorers, being an Asian woman.

"I really hope that I can inspire people to just step outside this box that's been created for us."

The challenge will also see Polar Preet raise money for charity and start a grant for adventure training for women.