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500 courses and still going strong

MEDIA RELEASE

24 July 2006


500 courses and still going strong


Adventure-based learning provider Outward Bound is set to celebrate its 500th course this month after more than 44 years of offering learning and development programmes to New Zealanders.

Outward Bound chief executive, Trevor Taylor, said that since the school began, more than 45,000 New Zealanders have taken part in courses run at its Anakiwa location in the Marlborough Sounds.

“We see the 500th course as a remarkable milestone in the life of Outward Bound,” Trevor said.

“We’ve come a long way since our first course and want to make sure we celebrate this special occasion.”

When Outward Bound began in 1962, the organisation offered just one 24-day course to young men only – women were allowed to attend 11 years later in 1973.

The school now offers a range of more than 14 courses including adult, professional, disability, youth and parent and teen courses.

“The last 44 years have also seen remarkable improvements to the range of activities we offer, safety procedures – which are now world-class – and, ultimately, the quality of the courses we offer,” Trevor said.

Outward Bound has also undergone significant structural changes since its beginnings, moving from a voluntary committee structure to a paid professional business structure.

To mark its 500th course, Outward Bound has invited members from the school’s very first course down to Outward Bound.

“Given that the Course 1 members are now in their 60s, it will be great to see them interacting with some of the younger participants who will be taking part in the 500th course,” Trevor said.

“Going to Outward Bound for the first time would have been a scary experience for the first course participants as they had no idea what to expect from the course.”

Course 1 participant Murray Nattrass of Napier said he was apprehensive about taking part in Outward Bound’s first ever course, but the experience was life changing.

“We didn’t know what we were in for at all,” he said.

“But the experience increased my confidence by 100 percent and has encouraged me to push myself beyond my limits right throughout life.”

Trevor said the experience will be very different for the Course 500 members.

“With 45,000 New Zealanders having taken part in an Outward Bound course, participants now have a greater understanding of the physical, mental and emotional challenges ahead,” he said.

Outward Bound’s 500th course, which begins on Sunday 30 July, is a combination of programmes including three Classic courses, one Catalyst course for people at risk of long-term unemployment, one Mind, Body and Soul course for 16-18 year olds, and one custom-designed professional course for managers from Mainfreight.

“We’ll have a great diversity of people down at Anakiwa to celebrate the 500th course. It’s sure to be an occasion to remember.”

To find out more about Outward Bound visit www.outwardbound.co.nz

ENDS

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