Silvermine Road and Ou Kaapseweg intersection opened

Summiting Swartkop on day 1 of the 17UP challenge with Andrea Nettel, Lee-Ann Dawson, Hilton Murray and Darren Clarke

What started out as a challenge for friends has evolved into a new event for the greater community.

Andrea Nettel and Lee-Ann Dawson of Fish Hoek are determined to illustrate the enormity of challenges that special needs individuals face every day

The women did a 14Up challenge in 2014. Their team is called No Breaks and their latest challenge is called 17Up.

They have set themselves the challenge of summitting mountains for 17 days (from Saturday December 1 to Monday December 17) with the goal of reaching a total elevation of 17 000 metres by the end of their challenge.

To do this, they will summit various peaks on a variety of mountain trails in the Western Cape area over the time period. They have already achieved 9 496 metres in nine days.

Andrea and Lee-Ann challenged their friends and families to join in, and more than 31 people have taken up individual challenges not only to challenge themselves, but also raise awareness of the challenges that families with special needs face every day.

Some of the challenges include people doing things like 17 one-arm push ups every day, or
17 000 steps every day.

Other challenges include going without carbs for the 17 days or running every day for 17 days or even walking up a hill every day for 17 days, as a family.

post their progress on the Facebook page that has been created and in this way, create a wider awareness for special needs families.

Andrea is intimately aware of the challenges that special needs families face as her son has congenital muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair.

Part of the 17Up challenge also provides the opportunity to contribute towards purchasing a ventiling machine that is needed for Andrea’s son, to help him breathe better at night.
For more information contact Andrea Nettel directly on

The challenge ends at Fish Hoek beach at 6pm on Monday December 17 for Team No Breaks.