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From Bluff to Cape Reinga, The Big Walk is on!

News Release
2 November 2009

From Bluff to Cape Reinga, The Big Walk is on!

Kiwi adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald and the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) are teaming up for New Zealand’s young people this summer.

The Big Walk will see Jamie and veteran mountaineer and co-founder of FYD, Graeme Dingle and lawyer Jo-anne Wilkinson, walk the 3000 km Te Araroa trail which stretches the length of New Zealand.

Graeme and fellow FYD co-founder, Jo-anne Wilkinson, will begin the three-month trek at Bluff and Jamie at Cape Reinga on Monday 30 November 2009.

Along the journey both will be joined by groups of New Zealand youth who have graduated from Project K, one of the successful programmes developed by FYD since it started in 1995.

Groups of up to six graduates will join southbound Jamie or northbound Graeme and Jo-anne, plus other adventurers, celebrities, mentors and community representatives as they travel the trail.

The Project K alumni will spend up to five days (approx 100 km per leg) with them on the trail, accompanied by two professional wilderness facilitators.

During each leg concepts such as goal-setting, attention to detail, reward and recognition will be covered through various activities, and evening ‘fireside chats’. The activities are designed to develop their life skills and uncover what they think is required to engage youth within their own communities.

The groups will converge and meet up in Wellington on Tuesday 2 February 2010, when they will walk the length of Lambton Quay with every participant of the campaign, and be greeted by Government officials at a ceremony at Parliament.

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More than 800 of Auckland’s Project K graduates have been invited to attend an information evening on Tuesday 3 November 2009.

General Manager of Project K Tim Draper will host the function to be held at Northcote Primary School, starting at 7.30pm.

“Graduates will hear from both Graeme Dingle and Jamie Fitzgerald, about how they can be a part of this amazing event and reconnect with their inner adventurer.

“It’s set to be an exciting evening with some amazing prizes to be won, including a return trip for two anywhere within New Zealand courtesy of Air New Zealand, as well as an 8GB iPod Nano, kindly donated by the North Harbour Business Association,” he said.

Issued for Project K by Outside the Square

About The Big Walk:
• When: Commences Monday, 30 November 2009, and ends Tuesday, 2 February 2010.
• Who: Graeme Dingle and Jo-anne Wilkinson, and Jamie Fitzgerald.
• Why: The Big Walk is a catalyst for change in New Zealand.

About Project K:
• A Foundation for Youth Development Programme designed to inspire 14 – 15 year olds to maximise their potential.
• The unique Project K process was developed in consultation with leading educationalists and youth workers, and is a catalyst for positive change.
• On the North Shore Project K operates in the following schools: Birkenhead College, Glenfield College, Northcote College, Rangitoto College and Takapuna Grammar School.
• Most notably, Project K were awarded the North Shore Times Excellence in Not for Profit Award at the recent North Shore Business Excellence Awards.

About Graeme Dingle:
• He is one of the world’s leading outdoor adventurers and has achieved hundreds of ‘firsts’ in mountaineering, rock climbing and adventuring throughout the world. He is Executive Trustee of the Foundation for Youth Development, which he co-founded with partner Jo-anne Wilkinson, to give young New Zealanders a combination of community skills, wilderness experiences and mentoring to prepare them for a rewarding life.

About Jamie Fitzgerald:
• He recently become the first ever Kiwi to reach the South Pole unsupported on foot with fellow adventurer Kevin Biggar. Their 52-day expedition came after a world record win in the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race in 2003. Jamie also holds the world record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny rowboat, has owned his own business, captained New Zealand rowing crews that competed against Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and has been a bank manager.


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