Many people will have heard of, or even participated in, the Oxfam trail walk in Taupo. It's a 100km walk to raise money for impoverished communities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. This December will see the start of a similar initiative around the Manukau Harbour to help raise money for schools at the heart of struggling communities in our own country.
The news is filled with stories of families and children who have lost their way and ended up in awful cycles of violence, poverty and despair. The money raised from this event will go towards implementing the Crackerjack Kids programme into Randwick Park School in Manurewa, a school that is suffering badly from the effects of these cycles.
The Cracker Jack Kids Program is a new resource from Quantum Sport for primary school teachers, using game play to teach essential character traits and life skills to students. Prominent New Zealand sportspeople are involved such as Eroni Clarke, Ruben Wiki, Dillon Boucher, Michael Jones, Anna Richards and Luisa Avaiki.
The event will be held on Friday 7 December and it's the first time something of its type has been done in this part of Auckland. It will commence at 6pm in Awhitu Park, and will finish some 24 hours and 120km later in Huia, Waitakere. The walk will be broken up into four legs (30km each), with one member from teams of four completing each leg. It is non-stop, so some dedicated team members will be walking through the night.
It's the brainchild of Paul Dickson a Project Manager who was planning to do the Oxfam Trail walk this year. "A few of the lads I work with were planning on doing the Oxfam walk earlier this year down in Taupo to raise a few dollars for countries in need. Unfortunately due to timing and injuries, that plan fell through so we decided to plan another similar event ourselves. We wanted a local cause and after much asking around, I came across Ken at Quantum Sport and the Crackerjack Kids organisation. It ticked all the boxes and most importantly it meant we would be raising funds for something in New Zealand," says Dickson.
Quantum Sport identified Randwick Park in Manurewa as the school to receive the help. The route of the walk is intended to go past the school. "We see no reason why this event cannot grow into the next Round the Bays and eventually have the Crackerjack Kids programme in every school in NZ!"
About Randwick Park School
Randwick Park is a Decile 1 school of 690 students located in Manurewa, South Auckland. Each day about 30 students eat at the Breakfast Club and others are fed by their teachers. 85 students are fed each day through the Kids Can initiative.
Despite the side effects of a community affected badly by the economic downturn, this is a school that is making every effort to ensure that their students get the best chance at learning possible.
Initiatives in place include a Breakfast Club, a government-funded full time social worker, a part time school funded counsellor, the HIPPY programme, pre-school education packs and Kids Can. The school has also begun the Garden to Table programme this year.
There is a high demand for help with food, furniture and clothing and the school works with families and the community to try and help meet needs if families are struggling. Local residents also provide support and cases are brought to the social worker to help families with budgeting and getting themselves out of financial strife, if required.
Randwick Park is a school with a positive vibe and a desire to succeed. They feel extremely honoured to be the recipients of the fundraising from Head to Head as they know the Cracker Jack Kids programme will be an enormous boost to children who may be suffering from low self-esteem or the effects of difficult family situations.