Big Brothers Big Sisters in Auckland with Big Bootcamp

Press Release – Les Mills

Les Mills is about to kick off its fourth annual charity bootcamp, which this year aims to raise $100,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of New Zealand through the 2011 BIG BOOTCAMP.26 October 2011

Help us start something big in Auckland!
Big Brothers Big Sisters to launch in Auckland with the help of BIG BOOTCAMP

Les Mills is about to kick off its fourth annual charity bootcamp, which this year aims to raise $100,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of New Zealand through the 2011 BIG BOOTCAMP.

BBBS is the world’s leading youth mentoring programme, matching vulnerable children and teens with a positive adult mentor from outside the family. Despite having a successful presence in 13 locations across New Zealand, BBBS has never been able to establish in Auckland, due to the cost of doing so. Globally, the charity was established more than 100 years ago and helps around 300,000 children worldwide in need every year.

Minister for Social Development, Employment and Youth Affairs, Paula Bennett, comments, “I’ve had the privilege of seeing Big Brothers Big Sisters in action first hand and am fully supportive of bringing this much-needed charity to our country’s biggest city. I encourage all New Zealanders to get behind BIG BOOTCAMP to help make a difference for Kiwi kids.”

Reece Zondag, CEO of Les Mills, says, “Les Mills Charity Bootcamp has a proven track record of raising significant funds for its charity of choice. The people who participate have an amazing time, raise money for a good cause and get fit in the process.

“We’re really excited to have around 140 people participating this year including some well-known faces like Miriama Smith and Carol Hirschfeld.”

BIG BOOTCAMP participants train three times a week, military-style with a twist, for four weeks in teams. Teams compete against each other (and their own willpower) while raising money for BBBS through individual online fundraising pages.

National Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand, Dave Marshall, adds, “We’ve been trying to get Big Brothers Big Sisters going in Auckland for almost 13 years now, but the market is so big and competitive that the task was always a bit beyond our reach. We are delighted to be the recipient charity for this year’s Les Mills Charity Bootcamp which has a reputation for raising significant funds for the charity it partners with.”

As the country’s largest city, Auckland has a high proportion of children living on or below the poverty line, and BBBS receives countless requests from parents and caregivers in Auckland who know a child who would benefit from having a Big Brother or Big Sister. BBBS has been working with local police in Auckland to establish a strong partnership and will begin its school-based programme once the relationships have been established during the first few years of operation.

BIG BOOTCAMP kicks off on 31 October and runs until 25 November 2011.

www.everydayhero.co.nz/event/lesmillscharitybootcamp – online fundraising site for BIG BOOTCAMP

www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.nz – Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand site
www.bbbs.org – Big Brothers Big Sisters global site

About BIG BOOTCAMP

For the past four years, Les Mills New Zealand has run a charity bootcamp.

During the bootcamp, around 140 Aucklanders train three times a week, military-style with a twist, to get fit and raise money for a great cause.

The two most recent charity partners to benefit from this annual fundraiser were The Heart Foundation and Breast Cancer Research Trust. More than $175,000 was raised for the two charities through bootcamp.

Les Mills has joined forces with BBBS to hold BIG BOOTCAMP to raise funds so BBBS can finally have presence in Auckland.

BIG BOOTCAMP will be held with the goal of raising $100,000 to help BBBS finance its program and first 50 matches in our country’s largest city, Auckland.

BIG BOOTCAMP starts on 31 October 2011 and runs for four weeks.

BIG BOOTCAMP will be the start of something big for the children and young people of Auckland, helping unlock their potential to be the best they can be.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is the world’s leading youth mentoring programme, and matches vulnerable children and teens ages 7 to 17 with a positive adult mentor from outside each child’s family network.

BBBS was established more than 100 years ago, and currently operates in 14 countries worldwide. Globally the charity helps around 300,000 children every year.

BBBS currently has a presence in: Israel, Russia, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, USA, Austria, and New Zealand.

BBBS has been a registered New Zealand charity since 1996 and has a presence in 13 locations around the country: Christchurch, Greymouth, Hokitika, Westport, North Canterbury, Nelson, Dannevirke, Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Hamilton, Taranaki, Taupō, Whakatane and, shortly, Auckland.

BBBS has never had the financial ability to fund a presence in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, but with the help of BIG BOOTCAMP, BBBS will be able to finance its first 50 matches in Auckland.

The initial 50 Auckland ‘matches’ are expected to cost around $2000 each, which is slightly higher than the average BBBS cost once the organisation has been established in a new city. BBBS has a very low cost per match compared to other mentoring programmes.

Each child or young person is matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister, and the ‘matches’ spend time together weekly for one or two years. This time is spent going on walks, playing games, being active or just hanging out.

BBBS matches have been found to consistently spend more time together, and continue as a match for longer periods compared with other mentoring programmes.

Research shows that BBBS mentoring helps kids stay in school, avoid risky behaviour and experience the power of helping others in their community.

ENDS

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