Norwich chef Webber explains his dream of climbing Everest
2:59 PM April 14, 2022
15:08 14 April 2022
Inspiring hope in young people motivates Norwich City supremo Stuart Webber to put his life at risk on the slopes of Mount Everest as he targets his ‘dream’ of raising £1m for charity .
Canaries fans have seen details of the sporting director’s surprising challenge emerge in recent months and now the man in charge of all football operations at Carrow Road has opened up about the driving force behind his plans to rise to the top top of the planet.
Webber and his wife – City Executive Director Zoe Ward – founded the Summit Foundation to work with other charitable foundations to create educational opportunities and programs with the ambition to create a better life for young people.
As training began last year ahead of hopes of attempting the 8,849m summit of Everest in the summer of 2023 or 2024, the Welshman has also launched The Climb Podcast to publicize his efforts.
Alongside his friend and City fan Jonathan Parramint, a development writer and producer in the television industry who is also a trustee of the foundation, the 37-year-old went into more detail about his daunting project.
“You don’t just show up and try. One thing that excites me is that you can die on this mountain – I’m ready to die on the mountain but I’m not ready to die or have someone else killed because of my lack of preparation,” said explained Webber. in a typically brutal tone.
“I hate when people aren’t prepared for things, especially when there are lives at stake. So the guide that I end up going with, we have to be very comfortable with each other because I have to trust that when we’re up there, if they say ‘enough, you have to turn back now’ that I believe them.
“So you have to spend time together because you can be out for four to six weeks together, in a tent, actually. So it would help if you came up.
“And, likewise, you’re going to be in a pressure situation on a mountain where the weather is potentially going to be horrible, there’s a storm coming and an avalanche has just happened. There’s going to be life or of death that we are going to encounter together.
“So you have to trust each other and there has to be a level of respect there.”
With the Canaries having a quiet January transfer window despite struggling in the Premier League, due to funds running out last summer after promotion, Webber was able to spend 10 days of January in Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
This was followed by training climbs of Snowdon in Wales and is set to continue this summer with two mountains in Ecuador in June, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.
Once the summer transfer window is closed, a September trip to Mont-Blanc is planned in the Alps, with a November expedition to the Himalayas in November when the club season comes to a halt for the 2022 World Cup, to attack at the 6,189m summit of Island. Peak.
So with a day job that comes with all the scrutiny and pressure of top football, why is Webber taking on the extra physical and mental workload?
“The charity was sort of born out of me and my wife talking about social issues in Norfolk,” said the man who played a pivotal role in engineering City’s league title successes in 2019 and 2021.
“We are perhaps looking at the lack of education of young people today and how they can have a better life for themselves.
“We’ve been blessed to have aspirations and to be able to fulfill some of our dreams, but I think there are so many young people now who are being raised in perhaps not particularly great family lives, or schools where there are too many children in a classroom and teachers cannot spend enough time with these children.
“We wanted to do something where we could maybe inspire young people but also help them. So, for example, there may be a young person who wants to go to university but cannot afford it or does not have the support of his family.
“They could maybe apply for a grant from the charity and it could help someone get out of a particular field, go to university or college, start a business or whatever – and their show that they can succeed in life.
“Ultimately, the goal is for that person to go back to their community and help another person, to really gain momentum in educating people.
“The only way to solve the social problems we have in our country is through education and by inspiring young people and showing them that there is another way.
“We wanted to do our part for our little corner of the world that Zoe and I fell in love with. We wanted to help and that’s the idea we came up with.
The couple have five-year-old son Sebastian, named after Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel – another Webber interest.
The City chief revealed at the club’s annual general meeting in November that instead of signing a new contract he would move to a one-year deal from this summer, admitting his next job is unlikely to be not in soccer.
Having previously spoken of his desire to leave the club in a better place than he found it in April 2017 – amid financial difficulties and poor league play – Webber had also spoken of having many ambitions in the life.
“I have always dreamed of climbing Everest. I love being outdoors, I love the mountains and walking is a passion,” he explained.
“If I got a call or a text from God tonight saying ‘man, you’re done tomorrow, you’re gonna die’, I’d consider a walk. That’s when I’m probably happiest, when I’m walking.
“Everest has always been a dream so I have set myself the goal and I would like to be able to raise, with the help of many people, a million pounds by the time I have the opportunity. to reach the summit of Everest.
“Obviously it’s a big dream and a big challenge, but it’s like everything in life – there’s no point in taking on an easy challenge.”
Along with more details on his preparations, the Aberystwyth native also discussed his journey from youth coaching with Wrexham to rising through the ranks of Liverpool’s academy staff and then to first-team roles with QPR, Wolves and Huddersfield before arriving in Norfolk.
He also revealed that superstar manager Jose Mourinho had been an idol to him as a coach initially, as the podcast kicked off ahead of future episodes featuring guests including City’s majority shareholder, Delia Smith, and former England defender Rio Ferdinand.
For more details, visit thesummitfoundation.co.uk.