KIKO MATTHEWS

February 17, 2020 2 min read

KIKO MATTHEWS

In Kiko's words, "#makelifericher - says it all really. Challenge yourself and push boundaries, having honest relationships with yourself and others and recognising your achievements is really important to me and, this makeslifericher. Don't take things too seriously either."

Kiko is a social entrepreneur and educator. In 2015 she left her job as Head of Science, and set up an award-winning stand-up paddleboarding company. Following her passion for charity, she set up The Big Stand, a charity based around the environment, adventure, leadership and education. In 2016, in need of a new challenge, Kiko decided to set herself the goal of attempting a world record to be the fastest female to row the Atlantic, solo and unsupported.

Brought up as an independent child with the outdoors as her TV, she developed a natural instinct for adventure early on in life. Her love for the outdoors, travelling and a challenge later took her through Africa driving from the UK to Cape Town as part of a team lead by the first person in a wheelchair to drive the whole route themselves. On returning to the UK she trained as a science teacher. However, a couple of years later, Kiko was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor causing a rare disease called Cushing’s. This put her body into a life threatening state. At the peak of her illness, her muscles and bones had wasted away significantly meaning she could barely get herself out of a bath.

Her near death experience tested Kiko mentally and physically and combining that memory with an ongoing need to be challenged, an attempt to be the fastest female to row 3000 miles from East to West of the North Atlantic Ocean, on her own and unsupported, was the perfect challenge. Having never stepped foot in a rowing boat in her life, but with WR holder Charlie Pitcher endorsing and training her, Kiko aims to cross the Atlantic in around 45 days, whilst raising money for Help for Heroes, Women in Sport and The Big Stand.

Kiko is evidence that anything is possible given the right attitude, passion and collaboration. She promotes challenge and integrity, hoping to inspire girls and women to push themselves both in their personal and work life as well as encouraging them to be more active. She believes that experience through challenge helps to develop confidence, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled and rounded life. She wants to empower women by showing them you don’t have to be experienced, or a professional, to consider challenging themselves. Kiko also has a passion for the environment, recognizing the benefits of the outdoors, understanding and respecting what is around her and what an incredible place we live in.

Follow Kiko and her journey at:

kikomatthews@gmail.com

www.kikomatthews.co.uk

www.facebook.com/Kikomatthews

www.twitter.com/Kikomatthews

www.instagram.com/kikomatthews



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