An Auckland student is heading to Peru to help overcome the obstacles of poverty by hula-hooping her heart out.

On December 7, Maggie Shui, 20, will join a team of 17 Peruvian and international charity workers to attempt to climb more than 6000m in order to break a rather unusual world record - hula hooping at a high altitude.

The team are hoping to raise $10,000 for the aptly named charity Hoop - Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru. It's a small organisation based in the city of Arequipa, in Peru's south, which aims to break the cycle of poverty through education, health and social programmes.

"The challenge has really captured the imagination of the public and we have already received a lot of support and good wishes from friends and family back home," Ms Shui said.


"As well as becoming world record holders, we have an ambitious fundraising goal - with all the money raised going [back] into supporting the project in Flora Tristan."

To prepare for the challenge, the team had been doing weekly training sessions in hula-hoop techniques, as well as learning how to avoid altitude sickness.

The record attempt will take place on a 6057m peak near Arequipa called Chachani - where oxygen levels are at 50 per cent compared to sea level and high wind speeds add further challenges.

The current record for high altitude hula-hooping was set in 2010 at an altitude of 5895m on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.


• Help Overcome Obstacles Peru is a small organisation with the aim of breaking the cycle of poverty through education, health and social programmes.

• Its main activities centre around a free after-school programme, which teaches English, art, sports, science and other activities for 100 children and their families.

• The charity operates with the help of 20 volunteers from Peru and all over the world.

• To support the fundraising campaign, visit All funds will go directly into Hoop's project in Arequipa.