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Outward Bound 50 Years of Growing Young Kiwis

Media Release

1 March 2012


While young people today face issues that are different to what their counterparts experienced 50 years ago, the way to help them meet those challenges remains the same, according to Outward Bound Chief Executive Officer Trevor Taylor.

Trevor said as the organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it had been looking at how things had changed from one generation to the next.

“Anecdotal feedback from recent course participants and instructors has shown that today’s youth are facing a myriad of challenges from drug and alcohol pressures through to unemployment, violence in schools, obesity and consumerism,” Trevor said.

“While the issues affecting students that walked down the jetty at Anakiwa 50 years ago to do an Outward Bound course may have been slightly different, they were still facing similar challenges.”

He said what had remained constant over the years is the need to cut through the issues of the day.

“We give young people the opportunity to discover who they really are and what they are capable of, without the influences of issues that they may be dealing with in their daily lives.”

In 1962, Outward Bound opened its first school in New Zealand at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. Since then, its traditional approach which is focused on helping Kiwis realise their true potential through outdoor challenge and adventure, has continued to hit the mark.

At the time of opening the school, Lord Cobham said Outward Bound would provide training for life. He believed that the experience of doing a course would help young people to cope confidently with the problems and worries that they might encounter.

“Fifty years on the same outcomes are being achieved,” Trevor said.

“Removing people from their daily environment and associated pressures for 21 days to attend a course has been key to the organisation’s success in bringing about lasting and profound change in course participants.

“Over the past 50 years we have heard countless stories from our alumni that Outward Bound was a life changing moment when the ‘light bulb’ suddenly went on for them.”

While attending a course, people are given the opportunity to develop self-awareness, confidence and a sense of self belief that they are capable of achieving a lot more than they originally thought was possible.

Now as the organisation celebrates its milestone anniversary, over 52,000 New Zealanders have completed an Outward Bound course.

Former All Black Norm Hewitt who is now working in the youth development field said completing a course was life-changing.

“I had always thought that Outward Bound was just for people who liked the outdoors and who wanted to try things like sailing, rock climbing, and tramping - I was totally wrong,” Norm said.

“It's one of the most amazing journeys I’ve ever been on. If you ever want to step out of your comfort zone and are looking for some direction or clarity in your life, Outward Bound is for you. It’s a personal journey that I highly recommend to people of all ages and nationalities.”

Over the years Outward Bound has expanded its courses to include specially tailored programmes to meet the needs of more New Zealanders such as: disability groups, long-term unemployed, adults, masters, ethnic leaders, partnership with Ngai Tahu, corporate leadership and emerging elite sports people. However, its 21-day Classic course remains its key offering.

Outward Bound plans to celebrate its 50th with a range of regional and national events involving past and present students and staff.

“We also want all those former Outward Bounders who might have lost touch to re-connect with us through our website,” Trevor said.

“Fifty years is a momentous achievement for a New Zealand organisation and we are looking forward to celebrating the contribution that Outward Bound has made to so many New Zealanders’ lives.”


Additional Information:
Outward Bound 50th Anniversary Events
• 15 March – Golf Event, Auckland
• 31 March – Kathmandu Adventure Race
• 19 April – Launch of the Outward Bound official documentary, Wellington
• 1 September – Anniversary Dinner, Auckland Museum
• 26 August – 15 September – Rotary 50th Anniversary Special Outward Bound Course, Anakiwa
• 26-28 October – Staff Celebrations, Anakiwa
• 24 November – Alumni Half Marathon, Anakiwa

The full list of 50th Anniversary activities can be found at:

© Scoop Media

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