BACK on familiar territory amongst family and friends in County Clare after spending two months in the Himalayas, John Burke says his next move will be building his foundation Elevate.
In a revealing interview with The Clare People, the West Clare man describes his loneliest moment — saying goodbye to his wife Aoibhín at Base Camp — and the elation of returning to that same spot one month later after conquering Everest and watching Sherpas celebrate through traditional dance.
Speaking about the inspiration behind setting up the foundation which will promote youth wellness, John says, “Elevate is something I’m really passionate about and it was always going to be the big project to work on once Everest was done.
“One of the main partner organisations will be Soar, which was founded by [former Clare All Star] Tony Griffin. Soar have an incredible organisation and they work with Transition Year students primarily. It’s all about developing self-esteem and resilience in young people.
“My own family was touched by a mental health tragedy. Young people are under so much pressure these days to conform to what they see as the perfect body, or the perfect lifestyle or to be perfectly popular. And really they just need to, as much as possible, find their own individuality and find what their own calling is in life.”
For full interview with John Burke see Tuesday’s Clare People