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Young girls keen for some outdoor adventures this year are in luck, thanks to the return of Journeys.

Journeys, which was launched as a pilot programme two summers ago, will begin Alexandra in term 1 of the school year.

The programme, which allows participants to explore the Alexandra area on foot and by bike, is open to girls from Alexandra and Clyde who are in years 8-10, but places are limited.

Journeys co-founder Megan Longman said feedback showed girls had valued belonging to a non-judgemental group one that was supportive.

They had enjoyed opportunities to grow their confidence, skills and leadership.

“They are enjoying having fun with friends and negotiating challenges on the edge of their comfort zone.”

Journeys has recently secured KiwiSport funding, which will enable it to provide “high quality” training to more local women to help offer the programme.

Longman said that would ultimately mean it could be offered to more Alexandra and Clyde girls in the future.

The group has also received $23,500 and mentoring for a year from Sport New Zealand as part of its investment to improving the equality of women and girls in sport.

“This funding allows us to set up Journeys in our community, keeping central our purpose of connecting girls through physical activity in our local wild places,” she said.

“Because our starting point is simply a few local women with a dream, the support we receive as part of this Sport NZ community is invaluable as we learn and develop .”

She said support from the local community had also been invaluable.

Registrations for the next intake of Journeys are now open. For more information email journeys.central.otago@gmail.com or visit http://www.journeys.org.nz/

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz