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Onehunga friends lace up for Oxfam Trailwalker2 min read

Feb 8, 2024 2 min

Onehunga friends lace up for Oxfam Trailwalker2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Two groups of Onehunga friends are taking on the Oxfam Trailwalker event in Taranaki next month – in the final year the gruelling fundraiser will be held.

Emma Belcher and her sister Amy Velho have joined forces with friends Katie Ludman and Alexandra Viner to form Team Pinot; while Elysia Shanks, Rachel Gemmell, Kirsty Carter and Heather Hale are Team Merlot. Each team is supported by a dedicated crew ensuring sustenance during the challenging 50km walk, and all money raised goes to Oxfam and their development and aid programmes.

Both teams are made up of women connected via Onehunga Primary School, and a WhatsApp group has helped keep them connected and motivated, even when they’re not training together.

Emma is a first-time Oxfam entrant, and her training includes a lot of walking and strength training a few times a week.

“Training is a combination of walking with a team member and solo sessions, before my husband goes to work or when he gets home.

“The best part is spending time with quality women, while doing something good for our health and contributing to a great cause. It’s so great having a physical challenge and for others to be a part of it. It’s all a win.”

Team Merlot member, Kirsty, echoes the sentiment. “I love team events that combine exercise and a goal. They’re a great motivator for people to get active, plus it’s for a great cause.”

”It is also a good way to get to know a great bunch of people even better, and it’s a great excuse to have a girls weekend getaway!”

Fellow Merlot teammate Elysia, says, ”It’s been awesome coming together and planning our fundraising events and training. The fitness is an added bonus!”

As well as a straightforward fundraising page to donate to, the teams are holding events like bake sales and bowling nights to spread the word and raise funds. They’re aiming to raise at least $2,000 per team.

Those eager to help fund Team Pinot and Team Merlot at the Oxfam finale, go to and