The Polar Academy – ‘inspiration through exploration’

The Polar Academy – ‘inspiration through exploration’
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We had the pleasure of hosting a presentation by Craig Mathieson, founder of The Polar Academy at our Edinburgh Head Office on Wednesday 11th September.

Craig gave a highly motivational talk at our recent sales conference. We found it so inspiring that we invited him to do the same again at our Edinburgh showroom to over 80 of our clients, friends, and staff in order to spread the word and reach out to more of our local community.

The Polar Academy 

Craig, who has a military and mountaineering background, successfully led the first dedicated Scottish expedition to the South Pole in 2004. He man-hauled his sledge 730 miles over the Antarctic Continent.

When he returned, Craig got thinking about ‘invisible’ teenagers – school pupils who are often overlooked and underestimated. He knew that these individuals were fully capable of achieving their dreams but lacked the confidence and motivation to chase them. Then, the initial idea of the ‘Polar Academy’ was born.

How it works

During his presentation Craig shared how The Polar Academy has changed the lives of the young men and women involved for the good. Featuring in a BBC documentary due out this October,  this inspiring initiative aims to unlock the potential of these ‘invisible’ 14-17-year-old school pupils, building their confidence through a rigorous 10-month training program followed by an intense 10 days navigating across Greenland – one of the world’s most remote and challenging terrains.


The Polar Academy - Founder Craig sharing his story with our audeince

Craig Mathieson – founder of the Polar Academy.

Navigating through such a remote part of the world proves a huge physical and mental task. It challenges expedition members to push past their mental boundaries and ultimately reshape their self-belief. After returning home to Scotland, they are challenged with sharing their experiences with more than 20,000 peers in their region.

Craig was joined by Kim who, at just 15 completed her Greenland expedition earlier this year. She shared with us how The Polar Academy has helped her to grow in confidence.

The Po

Kim, sharing how her 2019 expedition helped her grow in confidence.

The Polar Academy - Kim is pictured with her mum

Kim not only inspired her peers but also inspired her mum who got involved in some of the tough training

Craig said:

‘I’m so proud of these pupils who have committed to the methods of The Polar Academy. They have transformed into confident and resilient young men and women. Now they know that with focus and effort the seemingly impossible can be achieved.’

Our Sales Director Andrew Aikman thanking Craig with some Shackleton whisky.

Sales Director Andrew Aikman thanking Craig with some Shackleton whisky – inspired by the spirit supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition.

Supporting the initiative

At Capital, we are passionate about supporting organisations which help young Scottish citizens grow into strong, confident individuals. We were therefore delighted to host Craig and Kim for such an inspiring talk. Thanks so much to both of them and everyone who attended the evening. We hope you found it as inspiring as we did.

To find out more about The Polar Academy and how you can support them, please visit their website.


Posted in Corporate & Social Responsibility, CSR, Edinburgh, Special Interest

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