TWO members of the Lochgelly High School Polar Academy team insist that their Arctic experience has made a huge difference to their respective futures.

Hannah Reid and Morgan Adam a year ago next week headed for Greenland with eight colleagues and then rector at LHS, Carol Ann Penrose, not knowing what to expect, and it turned out to be an experience like no other.

The school had to raise a large sum of money to make the adventure happen, under the guidance of Polar Academy guru Craig Mathieson, and Cowdenbeath Rotary Club was one of the local organisations to make a donation to the cause.

And on Thursday Hannah and Morgan visited the club, with new rector Debbie Aitken, to give an idea of how they dealt with the harsh conditions of more than two weeks in the Arctic.

The duo reported how 20 pupils were originally selected to train for the experience about nine months before the departure for Greenland, and after some rigorous outward bound work ten were chosen to be members of the Polar Academy team and ten to be the back-up unit ready to step in if anyone had to pull out.

Hannah and Morgan said: "We faced a really hard few months training involving some unusual activities including dragging tyres across St Andrews beach to replicate pulling a sledge on skis!

"The training work certainly paid off, when we got to Greenland last April, for we had had to put our heart and soul into working as a team in some really testing conditions."

The girls recalled how the team had to spend two days in their tent due to the severity of the weather, but it eventually cleared and then they were able to get moving again.

They added: "The team had a lot of work to do when setting up camp, from digging latrines in the snow to putting up a Polar bear fence, every time we stopped for the night so there was always plenty to do.

"The temperatures were something we had never experienced and it was difficult to adjust but everyone pulled their weight and the leadership from Craig and his team was really amazing."

The duo said that the whole adventure saw their fitness levels increase immeasurably and Hannah added: "From start to finish the experience was something I will never forget.

"I have to say that being part of the Polar Academy saw my self confidence levels rise incredibly and it has given me the belief that I can tackle anything."

Morgan echoed these sentiments and added: "The experience was amazing and my self belief now is so different through it.

"That will be with me now throughout my life"

They both thanked their families for their support in helping raise funds to be able to go on the Arctic adventure and reported that the LHS team will be hosting a cultural exchange this summer when three girls from Tasiilaq, in Greenland, will be coming to Lochgelly.