Stepping up to funding challenge

By Mike Dinsdale

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MAKING TRACKS: Northland Outward Bound ambassador Amelia Herbert (left) with Jessica Friis and Louisa Dobbs, warm up ahead of the Outward Bound Fun Run at Kensington Park's athletic track on Saturday.PHOTO/JOHN STONE
MAKING TRACKS: Northland Outward Bound ambassador Amelia Herbert (left) with Jessica Friis and Louisa Dobbs, warm up ahead of the Outward Bound Fun Run at Kensington Park's athletic track on Saturday.PHOTO/JOHN STONE

As a teen mum Whangarei woman Amelia Herbert credits Outward Bound as helping her change her life.

Now she wants to help other Northlanders enjoy the adventure-based Outward Bound experience and hopes this weekend's 3km Outward Bound fun run at Kensington will raise funds to send many more youngsters to the Marlborough Sounds courses.

Amelia is the Outward Bound ambassador for Northland and said money raised from the fun run will be used to send more young Northlanders to Outward Bound courses.

She is in the last year of her training and hopes to later establish an Outward Bound centre in Northland.

It would need to be somewhere reasonably isolated with the Bay of Islands cited as a possibility, she said.

But first was to get more Northlanders involved and Amelia had been working with a number of sponsors to set up a scholarship scheme.

Amelia knows first hand the benefits of doing an Outward Bound course and credits it with giving her direction in her life.

In 2010, through Outward Bound's community partnership programme, the mother of then 2-year-old Harlem became the first student from He Matariki - Whangarei's school for teen mums - to be sent on a course to the famous centre at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds.

There, Amelia ran before sunrise, climbed rock faces blindfolded, walked a rope among the treetops, and swam in the sea at sundown. Her experience helped her decide her long-term goals, values, and opened her eyes to her love of the outdoors and adventure.

She said Saturday's fun run was all about raising awareness about Outward Bound, promoting its scholarships and mostly, having some fun.

The event will start at 8.30am and true to the adventure school's tradition, will begin with a warm up session led by an Outward Bound instructor.

Spot prizes and race bags will be given away. Tickets are $10 and participants can enter as an individual, pair or team of four. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go toward Northland Outward Bound scholarships. See www.eventfinder.co.nz for the full programme and to buy tickets.

To learn more about Outward Bound scholarships for Northlanders email ameliaherbert10@gmail.com.

Given that foul weather is forecast for Saturday, people should visit Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand's Facebook page for a possible cancellation notice.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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