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MAKING A DIFFERENCE with Cam Calkoen

To call himself a "North Shorian" is one of Cam Calkoen's proudest traits for it is in this environment that he is inspired to make a difference and be the best that he can be. From athletics, through to community service and motivational speaking Cam has locally, nationally and internationally represented our region with pride and built networks into the many subcultures of our North Shore community. He is a monthly contributor to Channel.

Living the Dream

As I roll over I guess for me to be up whilst others dream in their sleep means I’m living my dream. My worm [G1] is to see other people smile, for through their joy they achieve more than they ever think possible and my dream is on target.
On this day, my dream sees me supporting a young hero from the Shore – Kurt Te Amo. I’m part of his journey because he’s excited me through a passion to empower others. A year ago, Kurt was preparing to run his first Round the Bays to test his fitness levels after a six week Boot Camp at his gym. For Kurt, this fashionable fitness method was to take his body to a new form of life. Kurt has Cerebral Palsy and Boot Camp saw him focusing on the ability to achieve excellence. Having gone from barely being able to lift his feet off the ground to running Round the Bays in 82 minutes, Kurt’s journey taught him that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
Following Round the Bays in 2010, Kurt continued to challenge his fitness and is now studying towards a certificate in Sport and Recreation at AUT.
Not waiting till he’s got his name on a certificate before he can motivate people into fitness, Kurt identified his Round the Bays experience as a milestone and saw how it could motivate benchmarks in the lives of people with disabilities.
A year after his first Round the Bays, Kurt is among 50,000 people scrambling to the start with the team he’s formed, Team Voyager. 22 individuals with disabilities, eight support staff and a camera crew to capture how one person’s dream has inspired 21 more.
20 minutes out from the start, Kurt sparks individuals in the team to complete the race through focusing on their strengths, hoping this will see them make their following year truly awesome.
After a team photo, Voyager proudly merge into the sea of people taking on the 8.4km event. Knowing 8.4km is going be at a maximum for many of the team, Kurt’s organised a BBQ at the beach so that as each participant finishes they can truly capture that moment of achievement.
11.15am and Team Voyager are all finished within one hour and forty-five minutes. Kurt’s goal not to beat last year’s time but to ensure everyone carries a smile from start to finish, is a goal he successfully achieved.
For me it’s 12 hours since I woke, not late, but from a long day I’m happily exhausted. Happy to see other young people mentoring others, happy to be part of an inspiring journey as a participant and happy that today I’m in a position to capture these stories and share them with you.
The biggest barrier in life is attitude, if we see our cup as half full rather than half empty we can lead an awesome life and that’s what I’m reminded of through Kurt and Team Voyager. 

 

by Cam Calkoen

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