Bo’ness man joins top 50 global influencers in new group

A Bo’ness man has been named as one of the top 50 global influencers in a newly formed group.

By Allan Crow
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 4:20 pm
Craig Mathieson from Bo'ness, founder of the Polar Academy has been  named as one of the top 50 global influencers in a newly formed group -   ‘The Explorers Club 50’
Craig Mathieson from Bo'ness, founder of the Polar Academy has been named as one of the top 50 global influencers in a newly formed group - ‘The Explorers Club 50’

Craig Mathieson is part of ‘The Explorers Club 50’

Over 400 nominations were put forward, but only 50 accepted into the group which is part of the illustrious Explorers Club based in New York.

Craig is the founder of the Bo’ness based charity, the Polar Academy.

Launched in 2014, it identifies ‘invisible’ 14-17 years old secondary school children, crushed by a lack of self-esteem and gives them the chance to redefine their physical and mental limits.

Participants are put through a rigorous ten-month training programme before being immersed in the wilds of Greenland, navigating through some of the world’s remotest terrain for ten days. Their confidence soars with every step.

On their return to Scotland, each pupil shares their experiences with their peer groups, speaking to more than 20,000 school children in their region.

Craig said: “I feel extremely humbled to find out that my work with the Polar Academy has been recognised in the inaugural Explorers Club 50.

“It is of course all the students, parents, staff, trustees, friends, patrons and sponsors who have supported me and believed in the Polar Academy that really deserve this award.

“For me, true exploration isn't about self-promotion, planting flags or feats of endurance. Instead, it's about the furtherance of knowledge and understanding of our wonderful and fragile planet and the positive effect it can have on people. It's a huge privilege to be an explorer, a privilege which must be shared for the benefit all.”

Craig was nominated by two people - Lisa Fox Keating, an American teacher and archaeologist, and Mark Wood, who chairs of The Explorers Club GB and Ireland.

Lisa, who works with young adults and has a particular interest in social anxiety, depression and esteem issues, said: “When I first heard about The Polar Academy, I was struck first by what a wonderful idea it was and a great way to reach those harder to engage with teenagers.”She added: It is the kindness and humbleness of Craig as a human being that I find particularly inspiring.

“I loved his vision, purpose and dedication and was never in any doubt that he would be a top nomination. Every country in the world should have a Polar Academy!’

Mark added: “ Explorers have a tremendous responsibility to inspire the next generation to reconnect with the environment and modern day pioneers like Craig Mathieson are leading the way.

The Polar Academy is unique in the way that it doesn't hold your hand- it allows you to make mistakes - to fall over and then get back up - to re-focus and keep moving forward. Craig is an understated - modest explorer who has a direct impact on the lives of young people, and this is why I backed him.”

The Explorers Club was formed in 1904 and has over 100 years of exploration legacy behind it.

Its 50-strong club was created to give voice to a special group of individuals who are exploring, inspiring, and creating the future.

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.