Masterton club lacks young trampers

By Emily Norman emily.norman@age.co.nz -
2 comments
Masterton Tramping Club members at Harman Pass, Arthur's Pass National Park. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Masterton Tramping Club members at Harman Pass, Arthur's Pass National Park. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Dwindling numbers of young adults in tramping clubs is a nationwide trend, according to Masterton Tramping Club president Jason Christensen.

Mr Christensen, a dairy farmer from Mount Bruce, has been a member of Masterton Tramping Club for more than 25 years, and said he would like to see a growth in youth and young adult membership, and tramping participation this year.

He said at most club meetings throughout New Zealand, the average age would be between 50 and 60 years old.

Having joined the club aged 16, he puts the lack of young people down to "busier lives" and restricted time commitments to activities.

"We all live busier lives these days and there are a lot of other activities available now," Mr Christensen said.

"If you look at what's on in any weekend, in the Wairarapa for example, there is so much going on. For tramping, you've either got to dedicate a whole day, or two days at least.

"Whatever it might be, most everyday activities and events these days don't require you to lock in a long period of time, whereas with tramping you're locking in this big time-commitment, which makes some people shy away."

With quite a few warm weeks left in the year, Mr Christensen wants to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and get involved with group tramping either with friends, or with a club.

"Tramping is a great way to enjoy the summer because you're out with nature," he said. "You're into the bush, you're in among the birds, plants, you're out with 100 per cent nature.

"When you involve yourself in a club, you've got this companionship that helps you get through the challenges and are there with you every step of the way," he said. "You start as a club trip, and you finish as a club trip. You go at the speed of the slowest person, so that everybody gets to the destination and has a good time.

"It's not a head-down, bum-up, and go off thing. At the end of the day, we're all out there to enjoy this world."

The Masterton Tramping Club night is the first Wednesday of every month at the Red Cross Rooms in Church St.

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