Imagine travelling across New Zealand in three days – with only a tenner in your pocket. Now imagine doing this in competition with 22 other teams and having to complete physical and mental challenges along the way.
This is the ‘grim’ reality facing teams from Microsoft, Gen-i and Turnstone who have volunteered to put themselves through this ordeal.
However, these adventurers are not racing for glory, but rather charity in the Accor $10 Queenstown Challenge, which raises money for Cure Kids to fund research into life-threatening childhood illnesses.
The challenge starts on October 1 and the teams of two need to make their way from Auckland to Queenstown with only $10 in their pockets, by relying on the kindness of strangers and hitch-hiking.
Along the way they will have to complete a variety of challenges to earn points that will determine the winning team.
Drawing on their sales skills and competitive spirit will get Microsoft’s Afterburners team across the line, says account technology specialist Adam Hall, who has partnered with infrastructure solution specialist Darryl Munro for the challenge.
“We sell for a living, so we’ll be taking the skills we use every day in our jobs and apply them to something different.”
Hall and Munro decided to take part in the challenge because they saw it as a fun way to help raise funds for a worthy cause. “It is few days out of our lives, but that is nothing if you look at the benefits the money raised brings to kids.”
Hall and Munro are also very competitive. “We want to win, and more importantly we want to beat the other Microsoft team,” says Hall.
The other Microsoft team is made up of SharePoint solution specialist Steve Letford and unified communications solution specialist Paul Dolley.
However, the competition does not begin only when the race starts, as teams are already feverishly trying to raise the $7000 they need just to enter the challenge.
For the Gen-i Corporate Clowns team, comprising client manager Ben Hanna and vendor manager Andrew Collins, reaching the minimum amount is not enough. “We are trying to raise $20,000. We want to blow the minimum figure,” says Collins.
The team hosted a poker evening recently that raised $3300 for the challenge. “It was a pretty successful night with a significant number of Gen-i staff and a lot of vendors coming out to support us,” says Collins.
The event was sponsored by Toshiba, while Ingram Micro supplied prizes for the winners.
Collins, who also took part in the Cure Kids Adventure race earlier this year, agrees that Cure Kids is a very worthy cause. “Cure Kids is making a big difference to the quality of life for young kids.”