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MP and city councillor hope Coast to Coast inspires youth

Labour MP Poto Williams and Christchurch City Councillor Glenn Livingstone are hoping to inspire young people in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch as they prepare for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast in February.

With a successful election behind her Williams is looking forward to more time to train over the summer holiday period and knows she has a good training mate as Livingstone has done the event four efforts as an individual and two as part of a team.

“We’ve got the diary sorted and we’re hoping to train as much as we can over the next two months,” Williams said. “We just really want to encourage our young people to get involved in sport and develop the habit of regular exercise. Sport can be life changing and transformative and you can be fit at any age, all you need is a pair of shoes, but sometimes even having the rights shoes can be a challenge for some.”

Livingstone stressed that one of their goals was to encourage younger people in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch to be active and set goals they go on to achieve.

“Young people can develop discipline, have a real sense of achievement and realise goals through being active and engaging in formal and informal activities,” Williams said. “Access can be an issue, but if we advocate to break down those barriers and have those that can help out with equipment and gear we can help young people transform their lives.”

Williams said they wanted to try to give opportunities to young people that might not have them as they prepared and trained for the event.

Livingstone will compete in the two day individual event with Williams joining him on the run and final bike ride. “I’ve been getting stuck into training and practising transition training more this time,” he said. “Something you learn the hard way. We’re hoping to do some tramping after Christmas, including going over the mountain run course.”

Both politicians are proud of the fact the event finishes in New Brighton. Williams, who is also the Assistant Speaker of the House, is the Member of Parliament for Christchurch East while Livingstone represents the Burwood ward in eastern Christchurch.

“The Council sees the real benefits of what the event means for Christchurch, New Brighton and the Canterbury region,” Livingstone said. “It not only brings competitors and their support crews into the city from throughout New Zealand and overseas but shows off the amazing terrain and scenery of our region as well.”

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