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Celebrities And CEOs Take On Extreme Challenge

20 November 2000

Celebrities And CEOs Take On Extreme Challenge In Fight Against Youth Suicide

Seventy-five of New Zealand’s top businesspeople, Olympians and TV stars are lacing up their running shoes and taking to the hills to raise money to fight New Zealand’s high youth suicide rates.

The Vodafone Extreme Challenge will see 15 teams of five – four businesspeople plus one celebrity - vie to be the fastest to cross the 21km Waihohonu Track in Tongariro National Park on Saturday, 9 December.

“Whether they’re running, walking or crawling, the key to success in the Vodafone Extreme Challenge is to work as a team,” said Rotary Youth Suicide Prevention Foundation chairman Peter Jollands.

Each team of five will also have to answer a series of brainteasers at each of the four stages, making it a battle of brains and brawn.

Celebrities tackling the Challenge include Jon Bridges, Hamish Carter, Belinda Colling, Chris Hobbs, Rebecca Hobbs, Kevin Smith, Hugh Sundae, Erica Takacs, Sarah Ulmer, Anna Veronese and Kerre Woodham.

The Challenge is aiming to raise at least $200,000 from the event for the Rotary Youth Suicide Prevention Foundation, a recently established charitable trust.

Mr Jollands said the Foundation will distribute funds to programmes aimed at reducing the rate of youth suicide by helping young people realise the value of their lives and the contribution they have to make.

“New Zealand has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world – yet this country has so much to offer young people and, with this Challenge, we want to highlight that,” he said.

The celebrities will be joined by some of New Zealand’s biggest businesses including Axon, Compaq, Deutsche Bank, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Mighty River Power, Vodafone and Western Mailing.

“We’re delighted that a large number of New Zealand’s leading corporates and most famous celebrities are taking part and that together we’ll be able to make a real difference to the lives of young people,” said Mr Jollands.

Managing director of Vodafone John Rohan said that the incredible commitment to the Challenge from big business demonstrated what an important issue youth suicide prevention is.

“We’re very proud to have initiated the Vodafone Extreme Challenge, put so much energy and effort into the event and have so many of our business colleagues join us in raising funds for such a worthy cause.

“Through the Challenge, we want to show young people that they can reach out for help when things get tough – because no matter who you are, you need the support of people around you to get through challenging times,” said Mr Rohan.

About Vodafone
Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company with more than 65 million customers. The company has interests in 25 countries over five continents.

Vodafone New Zealand now has more than 638,000 customers on its fully digital network and provides coverage to 97 per cent of the population.

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Alison Sykora Lucy Bowerman
Corporate Communications Executive Raynish & Partners
Vodafone New Zealand Ltd Public Relations Consultants
Ph: 09 357 5631 Mob: 021 630 782 Ph: (09) 309 6663 Fx: (09) 307 6554

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