Local mountain bikers have put their money where their mouth is and are donating an impressive $10,000 towards the One Giant Chance fundraising campaign, to further protect and expand Te Mata Park.
‘’One Giant Chance is an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity, and our club is 100% behind this campaign,’’ comments Louie Papuni, President of Bennelong Mountain Bike Club (BMC).
Bennelong Mountain Bike Club was established nearly 20 years ago, and with a growing membership of close to 100 individuals, they have enjoyed countless rides in Te Mata Park.
‘’The Park means a lot to our members, it’s at the very core of why we were established. This is our way of giving back,’’ adds Mr. Papuni.
One Giant Chance is a community fundraising campaign, recently launched by Te Mata Park Trust, to purchase 8.5 hectares of neighbouring land, located near Tauroa Car Park.
‘’As frequent park users, we have noticed the growing numbers of people using the trails – both walking and riding tracks. We acknowledge that this new land is a great opportunity to make the Park safer, by offering alternative routes, a wider entrance at Tauroa Road end, and ensure the separation of different user groups.’’
‘’Chambers Walk is becoming quite congested, so this land acquisition is an ideal solution,’’ adds Mr. Papuni.
Mr. Papuni is quick to mention that it isn’t just their club who are supporting this campaign, but also the female-based mountain bike group, BMShe.
‘’BMShe is a rapidly growing and popular club, who also contribute to our funding pool, and they are equally delighted to be able to support this exciting campaign.’’
Chairman of Te Mata Park, Mike Devonshire, comments that the contribution from BMC extends far beyond financial support.
‘’This motivated, active group of mountain bikers have supported the Park in many ways over the years. They can often be found on weekends doing voluntary track work, which is essential to keeping the trails in good condition. BMC also are playing an active role in coordinating an upcoming fundraiser Enduro event. We are very grateful for their outstanding support, time and energy towards protecting our Park.’’
Mr. Devonshire adds, ‘’Bennelong Mountain Bike Club members, Richard Mills and Emma Buttle, are also the team behind MCL Construction TRIPLE PEAKS, with proceeds from this March event going back to Te Mata Park Trust. This club really do have the community at the heart of what they do.’’
Mr. Devonshire encourages other sports groups, who enjoy the Park, to consider ways in which they also can ‘’give back’’ and assist with fundraising efforts. ‘’If you wish to also get involved, and have some ideas, please do contact our Park Manager via the website.’’
Located between Tauroa and the Main Gates Car Park, this 8.5 hectares of land is described as being ’a missing piece in the puzzle.’
Te Mata Park Trust aim to raise $1.5 million through community fundraising and local Charitable Trusts. This will allow for the purchase of the land, as well as the track development and planting of native trees. ‘’ The land is under contract, and funds must be raised by the end of 2018, to meet the conditions of the contract.’’
‘’A week of fundraising events and activities are planned for the last week of November,’’ comments Mr. Devonshire. ‘’One Giant Week of fundraising, including an orienteering event, Enduro race in the Park, Sustainable Backyards Walk & Talk, amongst other community group led initiatives. Keep an eye on the local papers to learn more.’’