Trek4Youth | Taking on the outback for our special needs campers…

I committed to the Sony Foundation Larapinta Hike to support the incredible work of the Foundation and to embark on what would be an exciting, challenging and incredibly rewarding adventure for me personally, and for everyone involved. I knew everything about the adventure would put me massively outside of my comfort zone – what I didn’t know was just how much I would relish every aspect of that!

Training for me only started about 6 weeks out! We trained as a Team, in multiple locations, and I really set out to just walk as much as I possibly could leading up to the adventure – extra walks with my dog, lots of chats to people, rather than emails, and walking home rather than driving!

Our goal was to raise $25K for the Sony Foundation, so we reached out to family, colleagues and dear friends, and, amazingly, we raised almost $40K!

With an abundance of excitement, a healthy dose of nerves and much gratitude for all of the support we had received, we set off for our adventure to Alice Springs. The first evening we were treated to locally sourced culinary delights from Kungkas Can Cook – it was so beautifully pieced together by extraordinary women. This was the perfect start to what would be a remarkable 6 days.

We averaged around 15kms per day – from high ridgelines to amazing sheltered gorges, the majority of the terrain was very rocky under foot! Our final climb to the Summit of Mt Sonder was 4 hours of hiking in darkness (except for a head torch!) to be rewarded with a magnificent sunrise and peaceful reflection of our achievements. The vast, open and breathtaking scenery that surrounded us each day made every step totally worth it.

The careful attention of the World Expedition Guides, Andy, Jay and Luke, their positive encouragement, and creation of nourishing food helped to make the experience all the more magical. The camp facilities blended in beautifully with the surrounding environment and provided much comfort for us trekkers, and we all fell in love with sleeping out under the night sky!

The Larapinta Trail is truly spectacular and such an incredible part of Australia. The entire trip exceeded all expectations and was a remarkable experience for everyone involved – to be supporting the work of the Foundation and St Andrews College to create camps for children and their families, who deserve all the love in the world, makes us all incredibly happy and proud.

I have come back with a spring in my step! I now want to walk at every opportunity, I have more energy, and a deeper appreciation for the wonder of nature and complete stillness. I hope that our efforts bring much joy and beaming smiles to the faces of all the beautiful children attending the Camp in November.

Bring on the next adventure!

By Cindy McCulloch, Director of Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Universal Sony Pictures and Home Entertainment and Trek4Youth Hiker

A huge thank you to the team of Jim Batchelor, Cindy McCulloch, Peter Ayling, Adam Pearson, Lara Stone and Emma Bresnik from Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, David Flanagan and Marc Collister from P2 Content Agency, Sony Foundation supporters – Simon Stafford, Nick England, Michael Hindaugh and Karen White from Sony Foundation Australia, all who trained, fundraised and raised awareness for Sony Foundation ahead of the trek. The team will visit a Sony Childrne’s Holiday Camp in December to see what their funds have enabled.

“Amazing adventure, great people and loads of fun! I still can’t get all the red dust off me! Looking forward to seeing some of the camps in action this summer.”

Adam Pearson, Universal Sony Picture Home Entertainment and Trek4Youth hiker

To find out more or express your interest in taking part in a fundraising adventure challenge for Sony Foundation, email [email protected]