Self defence instructor from Blackburn to complete the word's highest obstacle course
A self defence instructor from Blackburn is looking to break her third World Record by completing the world's highest obstacle course.
Zaynab Jogi, known as Zee for short – is already the first British Muslim woman to have a Guinness World Record for completing an obstacle course on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2021.
Her Everest challenge will involve the gruelling trek to Basecamp at an altitude of 5,364 metres followed by a demanding obstacle course at 5,644 metres.
Zee knows how tough it will be, she had to overcome debilitating altitude sickness to make it to the top of Africa's highest peak.
For that challenge, Zee was among 45 athletes from 26 countries around the world, taking part in the unique endurance challenge and gaining two Guinness World Records for completing both the World's Highest Fitness Class and the World's Highest Obstacle Course.
She is taking on her latest challenge as part of her charity's mission - Z’s Defence Academy - to combat and break down mental health barriers for all ages through sporting activities, outdoors, pursuits, self-defence and volunteering.
She hopes to empower and educate the most vulnerable women to learn life skills, resilience, confidence, independence.
Zee says: "After 12 years of climbing at high altitude I became a sole traveller and began exploring mountains all around the UK.
"During Covid my mental health was severely affected, and I decided to participate in my first extreme international challenge up Kilimanjaro.
"I've trained in martial arts for 17 years and it has been very male dominated and very difficult to break that stigma but I am not the one to back down.
"I am going to showcase that to the world to say that all women should take their responsibility to learn self protection and self defence."
Now she is using her skills to empower other women.
Aisha Jaffer, who is 72 and lives on her own, has taken up self defence training an says it makes her feel more secure.
She has always kept herself fit and says exercising helped her in a demanding NHS role to support young mums who were new to the UK.
Noreen Ramzan has waited a long time for this opportunity and her daughters are now learning kickboxing too.
She said "My siblings and cousins, the males in the family, they had it all. They used to go boxing, taekwondo, but meeting Zee has allowed me to rediscover my passion."
Heather Baldwin has mobility issues and says she has grown in confidence after taking part in Zee's self defence classes.
"I didn't realise I was walking with my head down," she said. "Zee told me to look up and walk tall, and that means you not only grow in stature but confidence too.
"I now look less vulnerable and that is so empowering."
Zee is now working with the police and a domestic violence charity - who have all been inspired by her mission.
PCSO Halima Sidat, who works for Lancashire Police, says during partnership working they have provided funding for victims of domestic violence to learn self defence skills.
The 33-year-old still still needs to raise £20,000 for the Everest Challenge and is looking for sponsorship from business who share her goals.
Zee says as the first British Muslim to set her sights on three Guinness World Records, she is "already changing stereotypes but insists there is still a lot of work to do".
Zee is used to overcoming obstacles and now has an army of women cheering her on.
You can find out more about her fundraising campaign for the Everest challenge here.
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