Busi­ness bid helps boys to grow more con­fi­dent

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

Hamil­ton’s Mor­gan Glover, 14, has trained hard to get match-fit for the Out­ward Bound course he is do­ing this week.

He was a lit­tle ex­cited, a lit­tle ner­vous, but “I’ll get through it,” he said.

To de­velop char­ac­ter and re­silience, Out­ward Bound puts hun­dreds of kids of Mor­gan’s age through their paces ev­ery year but the cir­cum­stances of this teen’s en­rol­ment are rather novel — his place­ment came as a re­sult of a lit­tle gen­eros­ity at a long busi­ness lunch.

Last year at a Bar­works Big Buddy Long Lunch, John Os­borne and James Dal­glish of GO Rentals won an auction for a fa­ther­less boy to ex­pe­ri­ence a week with Out­ward Bound.

Mor­gan is part of the Big Buddy pro­gramme that men­tors fa­ther­less boys in Hamil­ton, Auck­land, and Welling­ton.

Mor­gan’s fa­ther died when he was eight, and mum Me­lanie said it was just as Mor­gan was turn­ing 12 that their fam­ily doc­tor put them in touch with the Big Buddy or­gan­i­sa­tion.

In the Waikato, Mor­gan is one of about 900 boys who don’t have fa­thers in their lives, from a pool of over 5000 sin­gle par­ent fam­i­lies. Auck­land has about 16,000 sin­gle par­ent fam­i­lies out of which an es­ti­mated 2500 boys have no con­tact with fa­thers. In Welling­ton, the statis­tics are sim­i­lar to those in the Waikato.

Mor­gan’s Big Buddy Rus­sell is one of 15 Waikato men who, out of a grow­ing pool of monthly en­quir­ers and ap­pli­cants, proved they had what it takes to be a men­tor. He’s thrilled that the boy he’s known for seven months will get the chance to strengthen his char­ac­ter at Out­ward Bound.

“It will broaden his hori­zons hugely and pro­vide in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence in­ter­act­ing with his peers in new and chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions — not to men­tion the phys­i­cal chal­lenges,” says Rus­sell Walsh, a Gen­e­sis LPG op­er­a­tions man­ager in Hamil­ton. When Rus­sell looks back on the rea­sons he wanted to help in­stil con­fi­dence and, ul­ti­mately, hap­pi­ness, in an­other young per­son, they mostly come down to his own boy­hood lessons.

“I come from a back­ground of a fam­ily of six, not overly af­flu­ent, with my par­ents split­ting when I was 12. It is nice to be able to pass on some of the cop­ing mech­a­nisms and hard won learn­ings I have picked up over the years and have some fun while do­ing it,” he says.

The Out­ward Bound ex­pe­ri­ence for a Lit­tle Buddy was donated as an auction item by Bar­works.

“Our cus­tomers en­cour­aged us to pur­chase an Out­ward Bound course to auction off at our Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen Big Buddy Long Lunch. These cour­ses are known for the valu­able ex­pe­ri­ences they pro­vide chil­dren with, and for us, be­ing able to pro­vide an ex­pe­ri­ence like this to a Lit­tle Buddy is a joy the en­tire Bar­works team share,” says man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Helle­brek­ers.

Mum Me­lanie had no re­serves about Mor­gan trav­el­ling and tak­ing part, apart from the pres­sure for him to quickly get fit for the 3km run. She’s keen to see him take up this chance for greater in­de­pen­dence and con­fi­dence.

Stud­ies show that boys in fe­male-only house­holds are more likely to miss op­por­tu­ni­ties to take risks. Men tend to en­cour­age boys to take risks to dis­cover their own lim­its and then judge risk bet­ter in fu­ture, lead­ing to in­de­pen­dence and trust in abil­ity. In a Hori­zon Re­search sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Big Buddy in 2013, 73 per cent of Lit­tle Bud­dies re­ported feel­ing more con­fi­dent to try new things since get­ting a men­tor, and 79 per cent of their car­ers said out­comes had im­proved in gen­eral, the most pos­i­tive change be­ing in their self­con­fi­dence.

Photo / Sup­plied

Mor­gan Glover, 14, of Hamil­ton is tak­ing on the chal­lenge of an Out­ward Bound Course, thanks to a lit­tle gen­eros­ity at a long busi­ness lunch.

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