On the 4th January 2000 Fiona Thornewill and her team mate Catharine became The First British Women to walk to the South Pole, at the same time Fiona and Mike became the first married couple to do so as well! They also managed to renew their wedding vows on the famous landmark, making front-page news around the world.
On 6th May 2001, the same team arrived at the North Pole after walking for 56 days across the frozen Atlantic Ocean. The team planted a ski pole with a Union Jack and Canadian flag to mark their arrival.
Once again they entered the record books, Fiona and Catherine becoming the first British Women to walk to both the North and South Poles. Despite severe Arctic weather, sometimes as cold as -50C, the quartet managed to cover more than 480 statute miles across the frozen Arctic Ocean.
Fiona Thornewill was born and raised in Northamptonshire where she soon proved herself a talented, young athlete. She was particularly gifted at netball, cross-country, 500 metres and high jump. When she left school she studied hotel management at college, married her first husband and became an administrator at RAF Newton. It was at RAF Newton that Fiona got her glider pilot's licence at just 23 years of age.
After leaving RAF Newton, she started her fitness centre in Newark and qualified as an instructor. Tragically Fiona lost her first husband in a road accident but valiantly carried on managing her own business until meeting Mike in 1992. Fiona now cycles competitively and works as a recruitment consultant.
"Once again your session has been hailed as one of the major highlights of our international conference. Many have said how truly honoured and humbled they felt to share in your experiences".
MARKETING MANAGER, RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL CARPETS
"Thanks for the talk you gave at ’Innovate’, a large number of participants commentated on how inspirational they found your talk, and how good it was to have someone from outside of the organisation to talk to us. You motivated and enthused us."
CHAIRMAN, THE INNOVATE PLANNING TEAM
"I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and effort to give us your presentation, it will leave us with a slice of your experiences for ever".
J. ROTHSCHILD ASSURANCE
"I would like to express our thanks for your time on what was a fascinating topic, made more interesting by your high standards of presentation".
THE INSTITUTE OF CLAY TECHNOLOGY
"Sincere thanks for your superb presentation at our Awards Ceremony. I have received many favourable comments on your unique performance and how your wonderful achievements were an inspiration to those present".
NORTH NOTTINGHAMSHIRE COLLEGE
"Many thanks for giving such an excellent presentation to the Nottingham PA Network, I work with many professional public speakers and listen to many presentations - yours was one of the most entertaining and thought provoking I have heard in some time".
MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, GREATER NOTTINGHAM TEC
"Thank you for your excellent presentation, everyone had a thoroughly good time".
DIRECTOR, BROADWAY MEDIA CENTRE
"Sgt Thornewill gave the children a very valuable question and answer session after a presentation which generated a great deal of enthusiasm and interest. It is good for children to see members of the police force as valuable and approachable people who are there to help and support."
HEADTEACHER, STURTON LE STEEPLE PRIMARY SCHOOL