Inspiring Athletes

Many athletes entertain us with their strength, prowess or competitive spirit. Then there are those who inspire us with their ability to overcome adversity. Inspiration is a big driving force for increased sporting participation which is a very positive thing. After every GODZone we have received a lot of correspondence from viewers who have watched Live Coverage. They have been inspired by the event, by the competitors, even the volunteers and have decided to get out and spend some time outdoors – sometimes having been inert for a decade or more. Every person who takes on an event as demanding as GODZone has usually inspired a friend, their family or supporters. Participants can reflect warmly on the positive impact they have on the people and communities around them. We’ve been inspired by many of the GODZone competitors, enjoy their company and can do attitudes. We decided to talk to a few to see what makes them tick, what drives them forward and what they have learnt along the way. They’ll no doubt continue to inspire in the years ahead.

Nathan Fa’avae – Nelson

I saw adventure racing as a sport where I could use all my skills. It’d be fair to say I do get bored fairly fast and like constant action, can’t find a sport that delivers that better than adventure racing. READ MORE >

Liam St Pierre – Australia

I work a day job as a molecular biologist, ostensibly to fund my adventure racing addiction. My main field of research has been the identification of toxins from the venom of Australia’s deadliest snakes, but I’ve also worked in projects looking at drug targets for malaria and vaccine development for hookworm. READ MORE >

Sia Svendsen – Christchurch

I was born on a little cliff island in the Baltic Sea belonging to Denmark but closer to Sweden. My parents divorced at age 4. I lost 3 of my beloved grandparents before 17 and also no longer had my dad. At the age of 10 I was diagnosed with a life threatening illness caused by a troubled childhood. I lost my hair, my weight plummeted to just 18kg which meant I could barely walk or function. READ MORE >

Debbie Chambers – Auckland

I started my racing career with Team but in more recent times have been the driver of the Girls on Top adventure racing team which is New Zealand’s only all women’s adventure racing team. When not adventure racing, cycle touring or out in the outdoors training I organise fortnightly runs and rides around Auckland through Girls on Top and work for Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development. READ MORE >


If you think you have a story to tell that can inspire others then let us know as we’d love to hear about it. Not everyone who reads about you will dream of doing GODZone but some will. Many or most will just see and read about the efforts you make, realise that you are still human (with all the ups and downs that go with that) and perhaps, just perhaps, they’ll take that decision to get outdoors and have fun. Inspiring others to take that first step is something that everyone competing at GODZone has done.