by George Clark
A local YMCA teacher is setting off on a 3000km bike ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff to show his pupils that when you set goals, you can achieve them.
Josh Sullivan will complete the 21 to 24-day trip with various night stops, all camping along New Zealand’s bike trails to raise funds for YMCA South & Mid Canterbury.
All funds raised will go back into the Y Skills Outdoors programme to help fund buying equipment, also helping the pupils attend activities at the Peel Forest Outdoor Centre.
“It is not my first time in Cape Reinga, I have had a bit of a look around New Zealand but it is my first time exploring in a whole journey,” Mr Sullivan said.
“My wife, Nicky Sullivan, and I are doing the journey together . We have some experience in outdoor trips. Trekking in Nepal, snorkelling in Tonga, cycling around Samoa. We will find out along the way if I am a proficient cyclist,” he said, laughing.
Mr Sullivan works with pupils aged 16 to 18 who are gaining NCEA level 2 through the programme, from Opihi College right down to Waimate.
Mr Sullivan is taking on the ride as a way to teach his pupils about pushing boundaries, getting out and exploring our country.
All of his equipment is going on the bike and on his back and he will buy food along the way as he said it worked out financially the same as taking it with you.
His message is simple: “I want to bring awareness to the outdoor programmes available to the community. Inspire young people, get out there and challenge myself.”
Pupils are encouraged to track his journey on the way. He aims to have Skype calls with all of the pupils, touching base and letting them ask questions.
“It is great to get them involved.”
Mr Sullivan starts in Cape Reinga on March 4.