TROY Kendall will tramp the length of the South Island this summer holiday to raise money for the Perry Outdoor Education Trust (POET).
POET is a charitable trust created in 2003 to offer outdoor education programmes to children and youth from low-decile secondary schools in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
Mr Kendall, now based in Invercargill as an environmental management and renewable energy student at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), was a former pupil of Te Kauwhata College in the Waikato and experienced the work of the trust first hand as a team leader at one of its outdoor education camps.
“Without POET, some schools in the Waikato would have no camps at all.”
He had previously visited the South Island to walk Fiordland’s tracks with his parents and now his aim was to help other New Zealand youth enjoy the outdoors.
“Growing up I was privileged enough to enjoy the outdoors of New Zealand, being taught at an early age to swim, tramp and many other outdoor activities.”
Mr Kendall said he had been drawn to study in Southland because of the environment.
“It’s perfect to have all these places right on our back door.”
However, having discovered his passion for the environment and for tramping and climbing, he also found both activities costly when it came to buying the right equipment.
“This stops many Kiwi children and teens being able to enjoy these experiences.”
It was Mr Kendall’s dream to raise enough money to be able to provide other Kiwi youths with the equipment they needed to get out and enjoy these outdoor activities.
“There are many kids in New Zealand who have the wish to see the country’s beauty from the other side – the wild side.”
POET outdoor education manager Karen Singers said staff were excited to be associated with Mr Kendall’s adventure.
Miss Singers said staff were excited to be associated with Mr Kendall’s adventure.
“It’s heartening to see our young people prepared to give back to others, giving more young people the chance to experience the outdoors. And what could be better than an outdoor adventure in the South Island?”
Mr Kendall said he would embark on his 1310km fundraising walk of the Te Araroa track, accompanied by his girlfriend, Finja Moller, of Germany (who is also studying environmental management at SIT), some time between January 10-15.
The journey, starting at Stirling Point, will take the couple through coastal, wetland, forest and mountain environments.