Jacqueline and LisaBy Lisa McCallum Blind Low Vision NZ Gym Manager

With so many of our community events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns it was great to be able to host the Rangitoto Island Power Walk on 28 October.

Our goal was to provide a mental and physical boost to our blind and low vision members post lockdown. The Rangitoto Island Power Walk is a fun fitness challenge. For some of our members this fitness challenge may be just getting to the top of Rangitoto Island summit and/or stepping outside of their personal comfort zones.

For other members who are a little bit more competitive in nature, we had a challenge for them! Gold, silver and bronze medals were up for grabs to the first three Blind Low Vision NZ members and their guides to reach the top of Rangitoto summit first.

The walk started from Rangitoto wharf up the Islington Bay road track, and then turning off to the summit track taking 1.5 hours. Jacqueline Galiki won first place with me (Lisa McCallum) as her guide with a time of 1 hour 15 minutes.

“This is an awesome experience, the stairs were quite a challenge but I am so glad I came – I loved the challenge,” said Jacqueline.

Joint second place went to Rod Jacques and Michael Stolzenberger coming in at 1 hour 16 minutes. “I was first male equal and I am also the oldest person here. If you can do this at 64 you are doing well,” says Rod. Third place went to Kwee Boon Koh and his Guide Rosa Lee Ho with a time of 1 hour 20 minutes.

For member Marianne Kraack it was the first time doing an event like this.

“I feel l so grateful to be able to come on this trip to Rangitoto with Blind Low Vision NZ. When I heard about it I just jumped at the opportunity – I haven’t been to Rangitoto for more than 30 years and it was really on my bucket list to do. I was so pleased I could come along with people who know about my eyesight and would help me along the way. I had such a wonderful helpful guide in Lakshmi who was able to help me by describing all the terrain along the way and all the steps that we need to come up and down. We had such a lovely conversation all the way to summit”

A special thank you to all of our amazing and wonderful guides for donating their time and effort to make this a special post Covid19 event for 2020.

A big thank you to Sue Vyas Blind Low Vision NZ National Volunteer Manager, Casey and Stephanie from Blind Sport NZ, Trent Francis, Blind Low Vision NZ Recreation and Community Advisor and Blanche Davidson, Blind Low Vision NZ Senior Administrator. This event would not have been possible without Blind Low Vision NZ staff members helping and volunteering their personal time.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in our Community Events – call 0800 24 33 33 or email us at info@blindlowvision.org.nz