Karen shows true grit

ACTIONWOMAN Karen Sweeney, from Ripon, showed true grit when she took part in an Armed Forces annual challenge for the region's executives

Sales manager at the Pavilions of Harrogate, 37-year-old Karen won the Best Female Endeavour Award when she joined 100 executives from all over Yorkshire and the North East in the gruelling challenges of Exercise 'Executive Stretch' held at Catterick.

Karen had a lot to live up to as her colleague Tony Kavanagh was a member of last years winning team and winner of the trophy for the best male competitor.

"Tony was a hard act to follow, but he was thrilled to bits that I had won a trophy as well and said that if anything our challenge seemed harder this year," said Karen.

She had to row a dinghy across a lake carefully avoiding the dummy minefield, reverse a light tank through cones, abseil down a multi-storey building, scale a climbing wall and try her hand at clay pigeon shooting. She also helped her team dismantle a Land Rover, carrying the parts past obstacles to reassemble it and race to the finish..

"Although I have a few bruises I really enjoyed the weekend. It was great doing new things and meeting new people. You find things out about yourself that you didnt know and it has given me confidence in myself.

"It was an amazing experience," said Karen.