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OUT & ABOUT Outdoor pursuits can be life-changing

A bit worn down from tragedies and trauma life had thrown at her, Yvonne was looking for some exercise that would help lift her spirits but which wasn’t competitive. “It was a hard ask,” the New Lynn woman says.

“It was 1995 and everything seemed to be about winning and that didn’t appeal at the time. Then I read a story in the paper and the accompanying picture had a group of women in it. They were laughing and I knew whatever they were doing, I wanted to do it too.” The group was from Women’s Outdoor Pursuits, established more

age groups are catered for and there are different levels of activities from the easy-going strollers to the more rugged bush tramping adventures. “It’s all about having fun

It’s all about having fun ...

than 20 years ago and in that time it has attracted more than 2000 women to enjoy the outdoors. Open to women of all ages, experienced trampers and beginners,

the WOPs beginners courses require no special skills or fitness levels. “You go through an introductory course,” says Yvonne, “and that’s

just amazing as it teaches you about first aid, clothing and gear for the outdoors, tramping skills, map and compass work, survival and leadership skills, shelter building and risk and accident management. “It’s very thorough and once you’ve completed the introductory level,

the doors just open to tramping in bush all over the place (the Waitakere Ranges are a favourite), abseiling and blackwater rafting.” Now in her early 60s, Yvonne says she treasures the companionship

the club offers and the way all the members look after each other. Their oldest member retired recently – she was in her 80s – but all

and gaining skills along the way. From being a stay-at-home Mum with

no confidence, WOPs has led to two volunteer roles for me,” says Yvonne. “I love getting away from life’s worries and call WOPs outings my

holiday once a week. I go out with WOPs and come home a different person, a happier person. It’s changed my life and I love it.” WOPs introductory courses are being held in October and November.

More information or 486 6284 – MOIRA KENNEDY

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It’s a new season for Piha’s lifesavers.

... but you can still catch up with the following stories online. Visit for more photos and information about: Auckland Council 30-year plan

Blessing the pets at St Francis church, Titirangi Living the Arts at Corban Estate Pacific play time in Kelston

Portage Ceramic Awards at Lopdell House New season starts for Piha Surf Lifesavers

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