Rob crosses the finish line!

23rd April 2015

Mountain

On April 4th, alumnus Rob Candy took the final steps of his 3,000 kilometre trek across the length of New Zealand – five months, one week and one day after beginning his journey. Inspired by his expedition to Tanzania in 2013, Rob decided to take on the remarkable challenge of trekking the grueling Te Araroa trail to raise money to support Tanzanian host country venturers (HCVs) to take part in our programmes.

Rob set off in October 2014, trekking through the forests and steep trails of New Zealand’s North Island. Despite suffering a setback in December when he damaged his Achilles tendon, Rob persisted on with his journey, taking on the demanding Tongariro Crossing before beginning the next leg of the trek in the South Island. The trail then took him across the beautiful Queen Charlotte track, across the enormous Richmond Ranges and through intense, steep climbs and descents to Queenstown.

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On the final leg of his journey, Rob trudged, climbed, battled, waded, crawled, slipped, skipped, hopped and hiked his way across rivers, through forests and over the  dramatic mountains of the South Island to reach the finish line at Stirling Point in Bluff, the southernmost mainland point in New Zealand. The challenging nature of the trail pushed Rob out of his comfort zone and brought him many moments of astonishment, accomplishment, discomfort, and most of all, relief. “The trail forced from me hidden depths of energy, determination, patience, and sheer guts,” said Rob.

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Reflecting on his motives for undertaking this challenge, Rob said “I chose to do this for the sense of adventure, of course, but also for others who haven’t been given some of the advantages and opportunities that I have. I wanted to give them the opportunity to confront poverty and learn ways in which to combat it”.

Through raising funds and awareness, Rob will help volunteers from Tanzania to develop skills, gain confidence and take action over the issues that matter to them. “Put simply, I’d love it if more young Tanzanians could be given the opportunity to join a Raleigh expedition,” Rob explained.

“HCVs are an integral part of any expedition. They contribute massively to the success of the projects, while also gaining valuable experience and exposure to the challenges facing Tanzania. I also believe that through HCV involvement, Raleigh and its Tanzanian project partners can equip these young people with ideas and models of how to combat real issues in their communities and inspire hope – not only by talking about the problems, but also through hands-on action.”

Our programmes simply wouldn’t work without HCVs, and Rob’s support means a great deal to us. Additionally, Hi-Tec generously sponsored Rob and covered all the costs of his journey, so all donations will go straight to our HCV fund.

Rob’s determination and courage is truly inspirational. Congratulations, Rob! Time for a well-deserved rest…

If you would like to donate to support Rob’s efforts, visit his JustGiving page

Want to get involved in a fundraising challenge of your own? Contact us at alumni@raleighinternational.org