Changing the lives of troubled boys

Last updated 12:40 21/11/2012
Kapiti Youth Run
JOEL MAXWELL / Kapiti Observer

In training: Teacher Anna Groves prepares for the Kapiti Run for Youth.

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Changing the lives of troubled boys starts with a ''high discipline'' six-week burst at Kapiti Youth Quest.

But after that, boys will continue to be mentored until they are ready to hit the ''grow-up button'', said general manager Jeremy Neeve.

Mr Neeve spoke to the Kapiti Observer in the build-up to the December 9 Kapiti Run for Youth, starting and finishing at Matatua Rd, Raumati Beach.

The event will raise money for Kapiti Youth Quest, which helps troubled boys by running four six-week intakes every year, and providing ongoing mentoring.

''We basically take the young fellas, that, I guess, most of the others have given up on. So a lot of our young fellas are referred to us by the police, youth justice, the schools, and mums that just don't know what to do next.''

The course starts with a ''high-discipline'' operations course that includes a week-long bush camp and then a camp in Whanganui that teaches them basic life skills.

Once they return to Kapiti they are given training including drug and alcohol education and anger management.

''And from there the hard work goes in: we mentor the boys for as long as it really takes, for as long as they're willing to engage; we'll stick with them until basically the 'grow-up button' goes on.''

Mentoring can go for years for the boys, aged about 14 to 17, from Pukerua Bay to Otaki.

Mr Neeves said the programme, launched by Paul and Tanya Fong, is changing lives.

The chance to help young people has attracted runners like Otaki College teacher Anna Groves, who will take on the 6km run.

Ms Groves said she tries to run four to five times every week as a way of ''downloading stress'', and is passionate about supporting young people in Kapiti.

''I figured - I run anyway, why not run for a good cause? I believe that Kapiti youth are worth running for and would love to see everyone get involved in some way.''

The event has running and walking options in 12km or 6km distances on the beach.

To find out about the event including start times and registration, or to sponsor someone, go to


In training: Teacher Anna Groves prepares for the Kapiti Run for Youth.
Joel Maxwell

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