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Ghaz takes on Challenge fit for a Mensan!

British Mensa, the world's oldest high IQ society, is delighted to be the new sponsor of the intelligence trophy at this year's CGI UK Challenge.

Taking part in the challenge alongside competitors from some of the UK's top companies will be Mensa member Ghaz Karamat, who will represent the society as part of the invitational team in the three day challenge in the Lake District at the end of this month.

The CGI UK Challenge is billed as the ultimate team building exercise and tests endurance, problem solving, physical fitness and team work over three long days.

As well as running, walking, climbing, swimming and kayaking, teams will need to call on their intellectual abilities to solve a number of puzzles thrown at them during the event. The team which performs best on these puzzles will receive the Mensa Intelligence Trophy at the glitzy party which follows the challenge.

Ghaz, 34, is a pharmacist who spends his downtime carving out a second career as an actor and stand-up comedian. He put himself forward for the challenge because he thought his physical fitness, communication skills and willingness to push himself were the perfect fit for the event.

He said: "It is something that does require physical strength. I like going on hikes with my friends, I go to the gym often, I like running and swimming. I took a DNA test which showed I have two of the markers athletes have for sprinting!

"I have climbed a few mountains as well, and I did one trek which was 110km over three days, which was really tough.

"I am analytical and able to juggle a lot of things at the same time. After I started as a pharmacy manager I went back to university to do a further qualification. I love solving problems and I am creative, which has led me to pursue a career in acting and comedy.

"Sometimes it's not what you know, when you are working as a team, it's how you communicate what you know. Comedy has given me that ability to just communicate with people."

The CGI UK Challenge also raises money for the Invictus Games Foundation, which increased Ghaz's interest in taking part. Like most participants, he is collecting sponsorship for the Foundation - you can donate to his fundraising efforts here.

This won't be the first time Ghaz has put himself out on a limb for charity. He said: "I went skydiving to raise money for post-conflict aid work I did in Bosnia & Herzegovina. I also trekked 110km three days straight in the hills, valleys, rivers, mountains of Bosnia on the Mars Mira trek in the 45C heat. I've hosted Stand up to Cancer charity events in pharmacies. I even did a full shift in my sleepwear/bathrobe to raise money!"

Ghaz has been a member of Mensa since early 2020 - "then the pandemic happened " - but first became aware of the society when a teacher mentioned it during his A Level psychology course. He said: "I never thought of myself as particularly bright although there were a few signs. A few years ago I thought I needed to explore me and decided I needed to find people I could communicate with, creative people. I took the test out of curiosity."

Mensa's sponsorship of the CGI UK Challenge intelligence prize is an opportunity to introduce the society to some of the UK and Ireland's top companies, with problem-solving and unconventional thinking skills typical of Mensa members also likely to feature strongly amongst the most successful challenge teams.