Home > News > Archive > 8th May 2007

Put feet forward for poverty

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Tiki Girls
TIKI GIRLS team of, from left: Kathy Gold, Robin Armstrong, Paula Bryant and Virginia Livingstone show the team spirit that saw them conquer the 100km Oxfam trailwalker at Taupo together. Photo supplied.

By Grant Johnston

A team of Te Awamutu women completed the recent 100km Oxfam Trailworker because they wanted a challenge and to help in the fight against poverty. They succeeded on both scores.

Tiki Girls team of Robin Armstrong, Paula Bryant, Kathy Gold and Virginia Livingstone completed the 100km walk at Taupo in just over 25 hours. Each team member had to walk the whole distance and they had to finish together. Their time was almost 11 hours inside the allotted 36 hours.

The Oxfam Trailwalker, held in Australia, Britain, Hong Kong and New Zealand, raises funds for Oxfam’s humanitarian, development and campaigning work.

Oxfam’s philosophy is to tackle the causes of poverty. Oxfam Trailwalker began as a military training exercise for Gurkhas 25 years ago and has since raised $50 Million.

Just to reach the start line, team members had to complete months of training.

Spokesperson, Paula Bryant says she was originally invited to be part of a team with sister-in-law Vicky Fabling, but the latter had to pull out.

“I had to enter before Christmas and come up with name. I live in Tiki Road so I stuck down Tiki Girls, but if I’d had more time I would have had a Rosetown theme,” Paula Bryant says.

She and the other three team members trained together most Fridays for the past few months, walking around Kakepuku and along Waikato River among other projects, as well as individually. Their team spirit came to fore on the 100km walk, when apart from 15 minute stops at the checkpoints, they walked through the night.

“You’d have a low point, but someone else would encourage you and help you through it,” Mrs Bryant says. “We also had a great support team in our four husbands (who all know each other well through rugby). At the end of the walk we were physically exhausted, but also elated,” she says.

Tiki Girls raised around $3000 for Oxfam and fundraising is ongoing. Oxfam is appealing for the public to continue supporting Trailwalker teams, through to June 15. Donations can be made to Tiki Girls on the website www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.nz/OTW07_299.

Deborah Pilkington, who lives at Te Rau-AMoa, and former local Joanna Hurst were also members of a four person team which competed the Oxfam Trailwalker.