Te Awamutu Courier

Friends walk 100km in fight against poverty

Step up for Oxfam Trailwalke­r Your Way

- Jesse Wood

Two weekends ago, Te Awamutu’s Nicole Bond, Aimee Butterfiel­d, Claudia Hobbs and Rebecca Mellsop got their walking shoes out to walk 100km for the Oxfam Trailwalke­r 2022 and help fight the injustices that keep families trapped in poverty for generation­s.

They started their journey in Ngāruawāhi­a and headed along the Te Awa River Ride cycle trail which went out to Karāpiro before heading back to Te Awamutu.

Oxfam Trailwalke­r, started in 1981, and is an event where a team of four competes in 100km in 36 hours or 50km in 18 hours all together, starting and finishing in Taranaki.

Due to the Covid-19 framework they weren’t able to do the walk in Taranaki as there were too many teams and people, so Oxfam changed it to Oxfam Trailwalke­r Your Way.

The teams were able to choose the distance wherever and however they wanted as long as it was completed within 10 days.

“I had always wanted to do this walk and thought it was a good challenge to do with my friends and for myself,” says Rebecca.

“It was a weird feeling when we stopped and didn’t have to walk any more, it almost felt like what now.

“That was a very confusing time to be honest.”

The Te Awamutu quartet had set a fundraisin­g goal of $2000 and almost doubled that, receiving $3771.

Nicole says it was very emotional from the amount of support that they had at the finish line and the last 5km, with the number of people who turned up to walk with them.

All four of them faced different challenges along the walk from blisters, to hunger to feeling like they were letting each other down.

“The hardest bit was knowing how far we still had to go when we were doing videos every 10km (updating our Facebook followers) as well as getting sunburnt and possible sunstroke,” says Aimee.

For Nicole, it was almost falling into a ditch during the early hours of the morning.

“Between 4 and 5am, the road that we’re walking on had ditches on either side, shoutout to Ben who stopped me from falling into the ditch as I was walking with my eyes closed because I was struggling to keep them open.”

Nicole, Aimee, Claudia and Rebecca would like to thank their support crew Joanne Butterfiel­d, Christy Bond, Alex Paton and Richard Mellsop.

“You had the hardest job of staying up all night and you rocked it,” says Rebecca.

“To all the friends and family who walked with us during the day and throughout the night, who brought us snacks and extra drinks it was appreciate­d. To all the people that donated thank you so much.

“You can still donate to the Always Hungry Oxfam page.”

Oxfam helps with all sorts of things like water and sanitation, foods and livelihood­s, gender equality, emergency response and campaignin­g all across the globe.

Oxfam’s vision is a just, inclusive, sustainabl­e world for everyone, now and for future generation­s.

This means supporting communitie­s to prepare for and survive the immediate threat of disaster.

But it also means helping people stand up for their rights, and rebuild with strength and security — so they can ultimately thrive in the future.

For more informatio­n or to donate, head to oxfamtrail­walker.org.nz/t/always-hungry.

 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? Claudia Hobbs (left), Rebecca Mellsop, Aimee Butterfiel­d and Nicole Bond prepare to start their 100km walk for Oxfam Trailwalke­r 2022.
Photo / Supplied Claudia Hobbs (left), Rebecca Mellsop, Aimee Butterfiel­d and Nicole Bond prepare to start their 100km walk for Oxfam Trailwalke­r 2022.
 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? Aimee Butterfiel­d (left), Claudia Hobbs, Nicole Bond and Rebecca Mellsop at Te Awamutu’s Stadium finishing their 100km walk.
Photo / Supplied Aimee Butterfiel­d (left), Claudia Hobbs, Nicole Bond and Rebecca Mellsop at Te Awamutu’s Stadium finishing their 100km walk.

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