Inside the Fennec Endeavour: Interview with the founders of Future Terrain
First founded in 2016 by Grant White, a 25-year Royal Marine and lower-leg amputee, Future Terrain has gone on to become one of the first charities in the world to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick service personnel through motorsport adventures and expeditions. Along the way, the charity provides coaching and a critically supportive environment, as well as the opportunity to enhance useful skillsets and gain qualifications.
The inspiration of Future Terrain came from founder Grant’s experience with a previous charity that entered disabled drivers in the DAKAR Rally; thinking it was a great opportunity, Grant jumped at the chance.
“DAKAR was something I'd always seen on TV and I thought it was a fantastic opportunity and idea for disabled drivers. The first thing I noticed at the event was the number of people it brought together; there was a great ethos of teamwork around the whole event. Driving old Freelanders with not much money, drivers weren’t going back to their big wagons for a social event each night, they’re working around the clock to keep the cars going. It was a great thing to be a part of.”
Whilst Grant was involved with this endeavour, he immediately noticed the camaraderie that surrounded the event between the participants – not only was it a big social event for the team and the riders, but the evening chats around the fireside provided an opportunity for the service personnel to open up about their personal experiences.
“People started to talk about their disabilities, their problems at home, their experiences and then all of a sudden somebody else opened up. The camaraderie was incredible.”
Grant had a light bulb moment; there was an opportunity to do something that had never been done before…
“I realised that there were some really good people involved in this challenge, so I asked if they fancied taking it a bit further by creating a new charity with a similar challenge the DAKAR, but a bit more simplistic”
Thus, Future Terrain was established.
Future Terrain has taken its veterans to a vast number of international locations and events, and this year is set to be no different. Whilst pitching to their main sponsor, they were approached by the chairman of the Endeavour Fund with the idea of a motorbike trip across the Sahara.
“We very quickly said ‘yes’ and wrapped our arms around it. We took it in a direction that I don’t think they were expecting. Naturally it’s not just a case of buying people a plane ticket, giving them a vehicle and telling them to follow a route - there is a whole process that needed to be done beforehand which we were able to help with given our previous experience.”
The Fennec Endeavour in Morocco, began on 18th September 2021 with both a motorbike team and a UTV team consisting of over twenty former armed forces personnel. The Future Terrain team used the Polaris RZRs that have been provided by Polaris Morocco.
“We were super excited about the opportunity to work with Polaris and use what is fundamentally kind of the ultimate sand driving vehicle. They're very light, they've got a great footprint. The ground pressure is very low; they're very safe.”
“It’s also sexy enough that people want to be involved but it also fits the requests in regard to the SSV qualifications as well.”
Previously, the team were only using Dacia Dusters for their endeavours but now with Polaris RZRs alongside, the Fennec Endeavour will just be that bit easier.
“Doing in a car, and we've done plenty of that, it's tough, it's a heavier vehicle for the tires of the same size it digs in so to have it in a vehicle that's more suited to it perfectly just set conditions for a great, great opportunity.”
For more information on Future Terrain and its events, please visit http://www.futureterrain.co.uk/