Fire walker Ge­off is a bold aged pen­sioner

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By WIL­LIAM SMITH news@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Peter­bor­oughet

A 67-YEAR-OLD char­ity worker has proved he is hot stuff – af­ter be­com­ing the UK’S old­est fire­walk in­struc­tor.

Pen­sioner Ge­off Fowler is now qual­i­fied to teach oth­ers to walk on red-hot burn­ing em­bers af­ter tak­ing on the chal­lenge him­self dur­ing a four-day fire­walk in­struc­tors’ course last week.

Ge­off ’s feet tack­led tem­per­a­tures of around 850 de­grees Fahren­heit (454 Cel­sius) dur­ing the course in Thor­ney – and he walked over a whopping 108 fires in one night alone.

He said: “Be­fore I did my first fire­walk I was ner­vous and ex­cited but em­pow­ered, es­pe­cially af­ter I’d done it. I thought if I can do this I can any­thing.

“I didn’t even con­sider my age as a bar­rier.

“I only feel eight on the in­side, it’s just the pad­ding on the out­side that looks a bit tatty! You are only as old as you feel.”

Ge­off, of Thack­ers Way, Mar­ket Deep­ing, de­cided to start fire­walk­ing in a bid to raise money and aware­ness about his char­ity, the Mus­tard Seed Project, which helps peo­ple in a poor sub­urb of Kenya get them­selves out of poverty.

The fa­ther-of-two set up the char­ity with his wife Rita fol­low­ing a trip to cel­e­brate their re­tire­ment in 2008.

They had planned to go to Amer­ica, but by chance they ended up go­ing on sa­fari in Kenya and one of their driv­ers took them to Mgongeni in Mom­basa.

He said: “Rita is a re­tired teacher so we went to look at a school and it was just aw­ful. There were kids sit­ting on the floor in a de­crepit build­ing and two un­trained teach­ers try­ing to teach them some­thing.

“We both thought we could do some­thing about this.

“We came back and thought about send­ing some books over but we thought we could do some­thing more.”

Since then they have worked with the com­mu­nity to help build a larger school, a sports cen­tre with pitches and equip­ment and en­abled ba­sic med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties such as a clinic with a qual­i­fied mid­wife and birthing room where women can have their ba­bies in a clean en­vi­ron­ment.

Ge­off said he de­cided to do the fire­walk in­struc­tors’ train­ing course so he can run his own fire­walk events to raise money for the char­ity, but also so he can en­cour­age peo­ple in Mom­basa to take up the chal­lenge.

He said: “I have set up foot­ball teams and a box­ing club and I am about to in­tro­duce vol­ley­ball, net­ball and mar­tial arts, but in­tro­duc­ing fire­walk­ing would re­ally help them be­lieve that if they set their mind to it they can achieve any­thing.

“Any age can do fire­walk­ing. I wish I’d done this when I was 15 as my life would have been dif­fer­ent.”

Along­side fire­walk­ing, Ge­off ’s train­ing also saw him walk­ing over bro­ken glass, break­ing ar­rows with his throat, smash­ing through bricks with his bare hands and other “em­pow­er­ing” ac­tiv­i­ties.

The train­ing was car­ried out by Steve Con­salvez, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Suc­cess For­mu­lae, a busi­ness coach­ing and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment com­pany based in Thor­ney, and the UK’S only Fire­walk­ing In­sti­tute of Re­search and Ed­u­ca­tion (FIRE) cer­ti­fied Mas­ter Fire­walk­ing In­struc­tor. HOT STUFF: Ge­off Fowler is the UK’S old­est fire­walk in­struc­tor. METP-24-05-12RH3

EM­POW­ER­MENT: Ge­off smashes a brick and pre­pares for a ‘trust fall’. Picture: ROW­LAND HOB­SON

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