CHRISTCHURCH ATHLETE HELPS RUGBY TEAM TO FIGHT FOR CURE KIDS
Tuesday 27th January 2015
28 January 2015
CHCH ATHLETE HELPS RUGBY TEAM TO FIGHT FOR CURE KIDS
GODZone is considered one of the toughest, most demanding adventure races in the world but the Cure Kids team put together by the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA) and global logistics company Mondiale, and led by Christchurch local Sia Svendsen, isn’t daunted.
Chief Executive of the NZRPA Rob Nichol, former All Black Ian Jones, former Blues player Ben Meyer and experienced adventure racer Sia Svendsen say teamwork and the Cure Kids ambassadors who are supporting them will keep them going even when the going gets tough.
Taking on a challenge like GODZone for the first time Ian Jones says “This is about something bigger than ourselves. The challenges we will face over seven days are nothing compared to what the Cure Kids ambassadors and their families face everyday.”
The adventure race will be held in and around the Lake Wanaka region from 27 February to 7 March 2015 with 55 local and international teams competing.
This is the fourth chapter of GODZone and it sold out in 48 hours. The event spans approximately 550 km and ascends upwards of 8,000 – 10,000 meters with teams racing non-stop for up to seven days in almost untouched terrain as they kayak, trek, mountain bike and navigate their way through the highly challenging course.
The course is kept secret until the final few hours before the start. Tens of thousands of viewers from around the world follow the mixed sex teams who can be tracked 24 hours a day.
Svendsen, originally from Denmark and now based in Christchurch, has competed in all three GODZone races, says, “These guys are tough. They won’t quit. It’s team work that will be our strength.”
Svendsen suffers from depression and says by talking openly about her own struggles she hopes to help raise money and awareness for Cure Kids “I’m here to fight for the kids. When it’s hurting and we know the kids are cheering for us, that will keep us going.”
Chief Executive of the NZRPA Rob Nichol agrees they will be more team focused than traditional adventure teams “You support your mates in a rugby environment rather than
looking inward. It’s a really good way to cope with the pressure. When we’re cold, hungry and tired it will be easier to focus on helping the kids. ”.
“Cure Kids is funding a new programme of research into child and adolescent mental health. Mental health is a key part of a person’s mental and physical well being and performance, and therefore an athlete’s. In professional rugby we’ve put significant focus on this. We want to lead the way internationally in not only supporting the mental health and well being of our people, but on how we support them to develop their mental fitness, toughness and resilience.”
“In our minds this better equips any of us to deal with the tough times and pressure scenarios we all encounter in life, athletes’ and young people included” says Nichol.
Cure Kids have also recently been announced as the recipient charity for GODZone.
The young Cure Kids ambassadors and those who are supporting the team will be able to follow the minute by minute live news and leaderboard updates and move between map view, terrain view, google earth and watch in 3D.
Vicki Lee, CEO of Cure Kids says “it’s always humbling when people are prepared to put their body on the line to stretch their limits both physically and mentally for our cause. The money they raise will be directed to improving the health of our Kiwi kids through research.”
Cure Kids is the official charity of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby and funds research into better treatments for a wide range of childhood illnesses, while working towards the ultimate goal, the cure.
These illnesses include cot death (SUDI), stillbirth, leukaemia, rheumatic heart disease, asthma, inherited heart conditions and mental health conditions, among others.
For more information please contact:
GODZone – Margo Berryman Phone: 021 246 3342
Cure Kids – Emma Matthews Mob: 027 468 8734
For information about the event, visit:
www.curekids.org.nz/GODZone or text GODZONE to 933 to donate $3 to Cure Kids