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$100,000 SPARC - Hillary Expedition Launched

$100,000 SPARC - Hillary Expedition Launched

The search is on for a team of adventurers willing and able to tackle some of the world's toughest outdoor challenges with a $100,000 expedition fund announced today by SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand).

Prospective Kiwi adventurers have until November 15 to put a proposal together to explain why they should be given the $100,000 to fund their expedition.

Applications could be for a vast range of projects, covering everything from exploration and adventure, to battling adversity. It could be anything, anywhere in the world... from canoeing down the Congo, to climbing in Chile, or battling extreme conditions on the ice in Antarctica.

"The Expedition is about honouring Sir Edmund, raising the profile of all the other New Zealanders out there doing amazing things, and encouraging our kids to set their sights high and to take advantage of our great outdoors," said Nick Hill, chief executive of SPARC.

"Sir Edmund once said that as a youngster, he felt inferior at sport, awkward and uncoordinated. He took refuge in reading and dreamed of a life filled with adventure."

"We want today's young people to be dreaming big dreams, and to experience the many outdoor activities New Zealand offers."

The SPARC Hillary Expedition aims to: · raise the profile of physical activity. · encourage young Kiwis into trying physical activity. · create inspirational role models. · position New Zealanders as on-the-edge and world-leading.

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A panel is being established to select the winning proposal, with representation from SPARC, the Government sector, the outdoors recreation sector and corporate New Zealand. The Expedition is being held in association with the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust - which was set up with help from the Government.

The inaugural adventure must take place between May 1 and October 1 2003.

While away, the Expedition team will, where possible, file daily photographic and written reports of the trip by email to a special section on the SPARC website for schools. Young adventurers will be able to track the Kiwi adventurers' progress on a daily basis and interact with the team wherever they are in the world.

On completion of the Expedition, the successful applicant will be required to work for SPARC on a leadership programme.

Full details are available on the website at

The government agency SPARC was formed earlier this year by a merger of the Hillary Commission, the Sports Foundation and the policy arm of the Office of Tourism and Sport.

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