Leicester man celebrates 60th birthday climbing highest mountain in Africa

A Leicester man is celebrating his 60th birthday by taking on the biggest challenge of his life and climbing to the top of Africa’s highest mountain – all in aid of Rainbows.

Over seven days, Ashok Kotecha plans to scale the 5,895m of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, on September 21. To date, he has raised almost £4,000 for us.

Ashok, who was born in Uganda and lives in Groby, said it had been a life-long ambition of his to take on the dormant volcano and thought it was perfect to link it to his milestone birthday, which he celebrated on February 26.

The retired engineer, who worked at Trelleborg for 40 years, said: “Harry Moore, who was the founder of Rainbows, was my former boss. This is why I am choosing to do the climb for Rainbows.

“I have been to Open Day at the hospice and was very impressed. It is a fantastic charity. Some of the children at Rainbows haven’t even had the chance to have a life. Rainbows will always be my first choice of charity now, sadly the need for Rainbows will never disappear.

“I am really looking forward to climbing Kilimanjaro and have been trying to vary my training with lots of different sports.”

Ashok is no stranger to challenges and 10 years ago, to mark his 50th birthday, he completed a trek in New Zealand for Meningitis Now.

Gary Farnfield, Leicestershire Community Fundraiser for Rainbows, added: “On behalf of all of our children, young people and their families, I would like to thank Ashok for taking part in this event and for supporting Rainbows. He is doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice.”

To support Ashok, visit www.justgiving.com/ashokkotecha