Pole position! Lecturer dances across Africa to help raise 25,000 for charity
People have done everything from bungee jumping to swimming down the Thames to raise money for charity. But pole dancing has rarely been put to such good use.
Now lecturer Dr Kat Humphrey has put the pole's seedy past behind it by performing dramatic moves on one across Africa to help raise 250,000 for charity.
The 26-year-old, from Nottingham, was taking part in a five-day, 400km cycle across Kenya with 75 other women in November and had not even told her fellow fundraisers of her secret talent.
Unusual way of fundraising: Lecturer Dr Kat Humphrey with the portable pink pole she carried in her backpack (left) and impressing local Kenyans
Dr Humphrey, who is a Doctor of Psychology and lecturer at
Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘The first time I whipped the pole out I
took everyone by surprise – the other cyclists and the locals were
don’t think the locals have ever seen anything like it – but they loved
it and a couple of them even gave it a whirl.
'A few hesitant cyclists
gave into temptation and tried it too. It was great fun and really mixed
up the journey.’
Each woman had to raise 2,800 to go on the trip, but some raised considerably more by organising events and getting financial baking from companies back in the UK.
Dr Humphrey said: 'I dont think the locals have ever seen anything like it – but they loved it and a couple of them even gave it a whirl'
The cycle followed the Kenyan Rift
Valley, starting at Lake Turkana in the north, the world’s largest
permanent desert lake, and finishing in Lake Magadi in the south.
Dr Humphrey kept them entertained throughout by setting up her pink portable pole to
perform on every time the group stopped for a water break.
‘The weather conditions varied,’ said the lecturer, who also runs her own pole dancing company, PoleKat Fitness.
‘At the top of a mountain it was 107 degrees and scorching, but we also got caught in some nasty tropical storms. The weather made the cycle almost unbearable at times and made pole dancing tougher than it is normally.’
Impromptu show: Dr Humphrey kept fundraisers and locals entertained throughout by setting up her pink portable pole to perform on every time the group stopped for a water break
Kat, and the 75 other women who took part in the cycle, raised a total of 224,000 for Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Trust (cervical cancer) and Ovarian Cancer Action.
Kat said: ‘I’ve now pole danced in seas, deserts, swimming pools, lakes, fields, farms, restaurants, up mountains, on beaches and on rooftops!
'My ultimate aim is to pole dance for charity in the Arctic – it will be my “pole to pole” mission.’