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Spirit of NZ Competition 2014

It's all about a brighter future ....

The Best 10 Days Of My Life So Far...

"The best ten days of my life so far happened on the Spirit of Adventure. I boarded the ship knowing no-one or absolutely anything about sailing, but left with life long friends and an experience of a lifetime. The Spirit of Adventure for me was a way of leaving all my worries of exams and school behind and to sail from Napier, up the east cape and back to Auckland. The moments I got to experience were amazing, lying on the bow sprit with dolphins jumping in the waves underneath you, looking up at the starry night sky while sitting around a campfire with the other trainees and sailing into Auckland at sunset while at the top of the highest sail on the ship.  

The life skills acquired from 10 days at sea with random people from all over New Zealand are amazing. I came home with great self confidence, communication skills and self belief I didn't think I had. The goals I had set when signing up for the trip have definitely been fulfilled. These goals were to give everything a go, have a great time and to come home with a huge grin. 

"Best ten days of my life so far."

Daniel Greenhalgh


UPDATE: March 2019 (5 years later)

I’m currently studying in my third year of an electrical and electronics engineering degree at the university of Canterbury! I spent my last summer working as an intern at a lighting company in Christchurch!

What Karen did for me was give me an opportunity which I never thought I would have, it gave me the chance to lead and grab life with both hands. I truly believe I’m the person I am today because of that generosity and selflessness.

Spirit in the Community - by Jo Bascombe (Mum of Cassie Newman)

In May 2014, Karen Franklin, a local Harcourts Real Estate Agent offered a sponsored trip on the Spirit of New Zealand for one Hibiscus Coast teenager.  All they had to do was write a hand-written letter to explain why they felt they would like or deserve this trip.

Although Cassie Newman was not the lucky recipient in the competition there was something in her letter that touched Karen's heart. She shared her feelings with her good friend Heidi Johnston of Windowmakers Ltd in Silverdale and the pair of them decided that together they would like to sponsor a trip for Cassie as well but without detracting from Daniel Greenhalgh the winner of the competition.

Spirit of  New Zealand voyages can be life enhancing. In the lead up to her voyage Cassie has excitedly to many adults around her and they have reflected back to their time on board and how amazing and fun it was and what a defining adventure in their own lives.

One of the things Karen wanted from her competition was to offer the trip to any teenager. Many of the students chosen through the schools are high achieving leaders and the voyage adds even more to their confidence and abilities.  There is so much to be gained by a whole range of students. Karen's own son Ben benefitted from his Spirit voyage and has continued to be active with Spirit of Adventure Trust volunteering at refit and sailing across the Tasman.

Even though the voyage was as amazing as Cassie hoped it would be it was the generosity and understanding of Karen and Heidi that initially brought about a change in Cassie.  For Cassie to see these two wonderful hardworking women being active and caring in their community.  Their confidence and the success they have made of themselves, this is what gave Cassie a little boost.  She wanted to be a better person just to be worthy of the gift thay had given her.  Cassie started working just a bit harder at school determined to strive for better marks.  She pushed herself to sing solo on stage at the Pumphouse Theatre even though she suffers from panic attacks.  It has helped her to take an interest in her future and think about her career options and encouraged her to start volunteering as crew at Voyager Maritime Museum.
The Hibiscus Coast is truly lucky to have such great business leaders working locally and sharing to make our community a better place to live.  Karen and Heidi are positive role models for our up and coming young girls.

An abridged version of this letter appeared in the HIBISCUS MATTERS Community Newspaper, 18 February 2015.

Spirit of New Zealand Competition 2014

A big milestone for me this year was the competition that I ran to send a deserving teenager for a ten day voyage on the Spirit of New Zealand.  My son Ben went on the ‘Spirit’ as soon as he could at 15 and did two more short voyages, helped for two weeks in the major refit and then did the trans Tasman tall ships race in October 2013 – a huge achievement and milestone in his life.  I saw what it did for him, both in his personal growth and giving back to the Spirit of Adventure Trust when he volunteered two weeks of him time for the refit to seeing how employers recognised the value of having been on the ‘Spirit. (Click here to read Ben's story)

It was over Christmas last year while fishing at Great Barrier and seeing the ‘Spirit’ go past that I thought I would like to give someone an opportunity that they may not otherwise get.  So I ran a competition which had several entries and the winner was chosen in conjunction with the Spirit of Adventure Trust – that winner, Daniel Greenhalgh was a unanimous decision.  Daniel has been on his ‘adventure’ labelled ‘the best ten days of my life’ and his account of his time can be found below.  There was another entry received after the closure that touched both my heart and my close friend Heidi Johnston from Windowmakers so together we have sponsored a very deserving girl on a January voyage.  The sheer joy of giving those two teenagers an amazing opportunity was overwhelming and I will be running the competition again in 2015.  A word of warning though – don’t trust NZ Post to deliver the entry on time.