Kepler Challenge Committee initiatives
As a community run event and a registered charity CC36502, an important goal for the Organising Committee is to support community projects in Fiordland. One such cause, which we hope no runners will need to make use of during the event weekend, was the over-stretched medical centre in Te Anau which has now been replaced with an excellent new facility, party due to funds from the Kepler Challenge Committee and runners.
Every year the organising committee offer 15 'Charity Challenge' spaces at a cost of $1000 each. For this donation runners receive entry into the Kepler Challenge event before the online registration system opens, an event t-shirt and breakfast, courtesy of the Organising Committee.
The up to $15,000 raised from the spaces is given to the designated charity for that year. In it's first year, funds from the 'Charity Challenge' were donated to the Fiordland Health Trust to help fund the new medical centre in Te Anau. Since then the scheme has also contributed funds to the Te Anau Scouts, Mararoa School, Fiordland Kindergarten and Te Anau Youth Club.
From time to time the Kepler Challenge Charitable Trust make donations to organisations that apply to the fund. To find out more visit the Charitable Trust Fund page.
Spirit of kepler award
In 2015 we started a new award inspired by long standing Kepler Challenge committee member, Caroline Carter who died in 2015.
The award is given to a runner or volunteer who has shown outstanding Kepler Spirit, be it going the extra extra mile for someone, or showing exceptional enthusiasm.
The recipient will be chosen from stories and anecdotes given to the committee during and after race weekend.
If you have a story about something or someone who has shown real 'kepler spirit', please let us know by the Friday following the race via Facebook, email, or talk to a committee member during the Kepler Challenge weekend.
Local Volunteer Outward Bound Leadership Sponsorship
Another new initiative started in 2008 by the Organising Committee was the sponsorship of a local volunteer on an 8 day Outward Bound Leadership course.
This is drawn on race weekend for eligible volunteers who must register their intention to complete the course to be eligible. The Organising Committee feels it is important to foster leadership, teamwork and communication qualities in a small community like Te Anau and hope that this initiative continues for many years to come.
The Kepler Challenge Committee has a committment to the area and as part of this set up a Birdsong Project aimed at reducing the number of stoats and other predators on the Kepler Track.
The 'ring-fencing' of the track through this initiative has lead to a wider stoat trapping scheme for the whole Kepler Penninsular. Part of this has been started under Kids Restore and local schools with the help of DOC and the Fiordland Conservation Trust.