WHAT IS POLAR PERFORMANCE?

Sandy Hennis and Sophie Montagne, after meeting through Ice Maiden, run their own speaking business.

WHAT dO WE DO?

We want to use our experiences in Antarctica to help bring new perspectives to the corporate sector. Combining Sandy’s military expertise with Sophie’s 10 years’ experience in the corporate world, we are adept at pinpointing business challenges and offering solutions, presented in the context of our time in Antarctica, on expeditions and on military operations.

We are both Army Reservists, allowing us to combine military training with our civilian careers. 

SANDY HENNIS

Sandy leads school expeditions in South America and had noticed a huge lack of self-belief in the girls that she led. Inspired to show them what women are capable of, she applied for Ice Maiden.

Drawing on her expedition experience and a 14 year career in the British Army, Sandy found the motivation not only to train for two years, but to conquer illness, injury and the ravages of the Antarctic cold.

Her mental strength underpins her story and she explains the coping strategies she drew upon when she hit rock bottom.

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SOPHIE MONTAGNE

Sophie had a background in journalism and luxury marketing before applying for Ice Maiden. A London-based desk-dweller that hates the cold, she was the least likely candidate for a record-breaking polar team.

Breaking every boundary she had ever known, from conquering a fear of falling by jumping into crevasses, to facing commuters’ smirks as she dragged her training tyre across London, she was selected for the final team.

After quitting her desk job, this epic challenge has been life-changing and given her a new sense of confidence in her own ability.

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Nics Wetherill MBE

Nics was the expedition leader and, for her, Ice Maiden was 10 years in the making. A full-time Army doctor, Nics planned the expedition with the aim of involving as many women as possible in the journey. She wanted to encourage women to get involved in adventure sports and see what they're capable of.

In 2018 she successfully led the first female team to ski across Antarctica using muscle power alone. As a Polar Performance associate, Nics shares her thoughts on leadership, team selection and decision making under extreme pressure.

INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE

We are passionate about inspiring young people to set themselves a challenge and have the determination to see it through. In an era of instant gratification, we aim to show that some things are worth working and waiting for.

Following the Ice Maiden expedition, we travelled the length and breadth of the UK for 6 months on behalf of the British Army, sharing our story with in excess of 30,000 young people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

We want to encourage children to get outdoors - why not, it's free! - and to be active, not only for their physical wellbeing, but also for their mental health. Showing that success can be measured by more than social media 'likes', we describe our adventures in Antarctica and what led us to sign up, emphasising throughout that we're just ordinary people who dreamed about doing something extraordinary.

AECOM was extremely proud and honoured to act as headline sponsor of the Ice Maidens expedition, and we have welcomed Sophie and Sandy to speak at company events on several occasions – always with great feedback. They are inspirational women, and the story of their journey across Antarctica is nothing short of extraordinary.
— AECOM