2017 Outward Bound


On 10 April, nine people with Parkinson’s, three family members and two Parkinson’s New Zealand staff embarked on an adventure – the 2017 Parkinson’s New Zealand Outward Bound course. On arrival at Outward Bound the group were given a few minutes to put their gear in the bunk house, and then it was off for a run. The course continued at this pace despite stormy weather for the next six days.

The high ropes course was an opportunity for everyone to challenge themselves. Walking along a single strand wire 10 metres above the group while being encouraged by the rest of the group helped create a close knit team. Over the next few days they rowed a heavy cutter, tramped part of the Queen Charlotte Track, learnt to use kayaks in the surf, slept out in the elements and went on hikes and swims. 

At the end of the course the group left Outward Bound feeling empowered, inspired and in most cases feeling like their life had changed. One attendee told us that she had trained and got quite fit before going on the course. Although she found the physical tasks challenging, it was the mental and emotional aspects that were most rewarding.  

“Living closely with others who have similar Parkinson’s symptoms was a valuable experience,” she said. “It was life-changing.”

Parkinson’s New Zealand has spaces on the 2018 Outward Bound course and encourages anyone interested in going to put their name on the list to attend. The course is open to people diagnosed before the age of 60 years and currently aged under 65. Participants fundraise some of the course fee and the rest is sponsored by Douglas Pharmaceuticals.

A great friend and supporter of Parkinson’s New Zealand, pharmaceutical legend Sir Graeme Douglas, died in 2016. Parkinson’s New Zealand would like to thank Douglas Pharmaceuticals for our continued partnership and their sponsorship of the 2017 Outward Bound course.