Iconic Kiwi event celebrates 10 years
Iconic Kiwi event celebrates 10 years of Kiwis stepping up
to make a difference
Oxfam Trailwalker, one of New Zealand’s longest-standing charity events, is celebrating the launch of its 10th anniversary event with a new trail and a big goal: to raise $1 million to help people in the Pacific rise out of poverty.
The event – which takes place in March 2015 – sees teams of four walk, or run if they’re keen, 100km together in less than 36 hours, alongside some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery including Huka Falls, native bush and Lake Taupō.
After training for months, people come from across New Zealand and the world to take part in Oxfam Trailwalker. In the last ten years the event has attracted participants from as far away as Germany, China and the US, and teams as diverse as British Army Gurkhas and Papua New Guineans from a village where Oxfam works.
But the draw of Oxfam Trailwalker comes from more than just picturesque scenery and interesting people. To date the event has raised over $7.4 million to help people in the developing world.
“Oxfam Trailwalker is incredibly powerful for two reasons,” said Rachael Le Mesurier, Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director. “It’s not only a huge personal challenge, but it also challenges the assumption that we cannot make a real contribution to overcoming the scandal of poverty and injustice in the world. When participants (and their supporters) see how much difference every dollar they raise - and every km they walk - makes, they realise their immense power to change the world for the better.”
Oxfam Trailwalker has lasting impact on the lives of people struggling in the Pacific – communities are able to build clean water supplies, families can grow more food, women are protected from violence, young people out of school get skills for employment and children are given a chance at an education.
The City Girls
One team of Oxfam Trailwalkers have completed the event every year since it started in New Zealand, despite a hip replacement or two! The City Girls, two of whom were 60 when they took on their first Oxfam Trailwalker, will celebrate their 10th event – and 1000 kilometres walked – alongside Oxfam this year.
Lesley Reece, from City Girls said, “The reason we started was as a personal challenge for me in my 60th year, with a desire to achieve something that I hadn’t done before.” She cited the rewards as growing friendships, good health and raising almost $30,000 so far for people living in poverty.
“We will be doing number ten and will then review what happens after that. Oxfam Trailwalker has become such a big, rewarding part of our lives.” she said.
The support of the local Taupō community, district council and Ngāti Tūwharetoa is substantial; volunteers come out in their hundreds year after year to make the event a success.
2015 will also see Oxfam Trailwalker’s 10,000th participant. Given the support of donors, each teams support crew of two or more and the amount of local volunteers, more than 80,000 Kiwis have been involved so far.
“Part of Oxfam Trailwalkers magic is that it gives people the motivation to test their limits. I’ve seen people cross the finish line looking like they’re truly given their all and they are so proud of what they have achieved. It's very humbling,” said Le Mesurier.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Kiwis have taken Oxfam Trailwalker to heart, people have a brilliant time and help those less fortunate – it’s win/win. And for our tenth anniversary, we’re pulling out all the stops to make this the biggest event yet.”
Oxfam Trailwalker will take place over March 28-29, 2015, at Lake Taupō. Enter or find out more at oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz or by calling 0800 600 700.