Kokoda Challenge 2012 – Jim Stillman Cup

I thought being on the eve of ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand, it would be a good opportunity to share my next adventure in 2012.

I first took part in The Kokoda Challenge back in 2009 with another three mates and it is an experience that has lived on with me since then. The challenge is held on the Gold Coast Hinterland and has participants trekking 96km on a course that leads along fire trails, crosses 12 creeks and summits 5,000m of vertical elevation. The goal is to finish as a complete team of four in honour of the spirit forged on the Kokoda Track in 1942: mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice.  

It was great being part of a team, helping each other out when the going got  tough and sharing the experience with family and friends who came along and helped out on the day. We definitely had our moments, but achieved our number one goal which was to finish as a team and all intact. We clocked in just under 19 hours and were as proud as punch to receive our dog tags and do our little bit by raising money for The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP).

Since starting work at The Centre Education Programme in 2010, I have dreamed of entering a group of young people in the Kokoda Challenge and it looks like 2012 is the year. I have four young people in my class who have committed to taking part in the Jim Stillman Cup, which consists of walking the last half (48km) of the track. This will be one of the biggest challenges these boys have faced and hopefully one that will have a postive impact on their lives. We have set up our own committee and will be starting fundraising in the next week or so and training officially kicks off this Friday. I will also be doing my best to source decent footwear (or funds to buy decent footwear) for my young people as this is out of reach for most of their families.

Our goals are to finish the challenge as a team, embrace and understand the values of mateship, endurance, sacrifice and courage , raise a minimum of $300 for the KCYP and show other young people that anything is possible. Already one of the boys is talking about doing the full 96km next year!!

For me, I feel a responsibility to prepare the young people to the best of my ability ensuring they feel part of the process and a team. I know people will be watching closely to see how go, but am confident we can pull it off. Anyone can go onto the team page and check us out (and donate if you want) and support Team CEP in our quest to be the first team from our school to complete the challenge. Here we go…..


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