David Gold launches Yavari Trekkers!

Joint-Chairman David Gold visited the birthplace of West Ham United to launch the Foundation’s Yavari Trekkers
Joint-Chairman David Gold visited the birthplace of West Ham United to launch the Foundation’s Yavari Trekkers, ahead of a life-changing journey to Peru.

The group of local young leaders will travel to South America this summer to retrace the journey of the Thames Ironworks-built Yavari gunship and Mr Gold was at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Bow Creek to offer some words of encouragement.

To the representatives of the group, Mr Gold drew upon his own experiences and stressed the importance of confidence and leadership when facing challenges along their trek.

“One of the most powerful things you will experience in your life is confidence. Doing what you’re doing now is how you gain confidence. When you come back you will have a story to tell that nobody else will have, bar those people all those years ago who took the ship to Peru.

"I want you to take this message with you on your trip. What you’re doing is fantastic but what you are also building within yourself is confidence and that’s the first step on the ladder to becoming a great leader.”

Hailing from London's most deprived boroughs, the Yavari Trekkers are currently fundraising for the adventure, which has the dual aims of developing their leadership skills and restoring the historical links between West Ham United and Peru.

The Yavari was commissioned in 1861 by the Peruvian government and built the following year by the precursors of West Ham United, the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.  

It was carried piecemeal on muleback up the Andes to be reassembled on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable waterway. The expedition will see the young Hammers trekking over mountainous passes and crossing the wild and windswept Altiplano (high plateau).

Having overcome their difficult backgrounds and come through programmes at the West Ham United Foundation, the Trekkers are now acting as leaders within the local community.

Group leader, Timothy Lukwago, was encouraged by the words of Mr Gold and said his sound advice will hold the team in good stead in Peru.

“It’s so fitting to have Mr Gold come down to the birthplace of West Ham United, where our story begins, to offer us advice ahead of an incredible journey. The Trekkers were captivated by his story and he gave us a great insight into what it takes to become a leader.

“To be able to come down here and learn about the history of the Club is a rare opportunity! We can’t thank Mr Gold enough for sharing today with us.”

The Yavari Trekkers are still fundraising for a trip of a lifetime and they need your help! You can donate to their JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/peru-yavari-trekkers