Katrina Sneath finds a new Horizon

Inspirational, Champions

My name is Katrina Sneath and earlier this year I did the eight day Horizons course in Anakiwa. I have Down Syndrome. I don’t let this stop me! In fact, it makes me even more determined to find out what is possible in life. It isn’t always easy but I love trying new things.

 

Katrina Sneath scenery2

I didn’t know for sure how my life would change, but I knew eventually it would happen.

You see, my Aunty had been on Outward Bound and she talked to me about it quite a bit.

She completed a course when she was young and told me it helped her a lot in her life. She thought I could do it. I thought about it and decided I would try to go too. I wanted to challenge myself, become fitter and find my full potential.

After being accepted for the course I began to train because I knew I had to run a long distance every morning at Anakiwa. My Aunty really helped here, too, encouraging me to keep going and do everything I could to get comfortable with running for as long as possible.

 

Then the day finally came… I was going to put my training to the test and start the Outward Bound course. I was so excited. I was also a bit nervous but I knew I had to do this.

We went rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, running, camping solo and camping with others, swimming in a cold, cold lake, and had cold showers. We did the high obstacles course where you had to move under and over barriers. This was my biggest challenge. I was really scared and shaky. But I knew I would regret it if I didn’t give it a go. I ignored the shaky nervousness in my body and told myself not to give up. I knew that I would not regret achieving this big challenge and overcoming this fear. When I was finished, I was over the moon that I completed it!

And I had the support of my entire watch crew, we came together during Outward Bound and felt like a family.

I learned about working together and good communication during difficult activities, and also about being able to speak up when needing some help. We learned respect for each other and to be patient when it was our turn. It was very important for everyone to treat each other equally. This helped me a lot with friendships after Outward Bound. I feel stronger, more confident with people and have even more friends now than before!

Outward Bound taught me to have more confidence and realise there are so many possibilities. I guess you could say that I learnt anything is possible.

Katrina watch2

After Outward Bound I’ve been really busy, working to achieve more of my dreams.

The Outward Bound course helped me to see things from others’ perspective and be more understanding. On our course there were many people who had different ideas. We all had to listen to each other and look at things from other points of view. I use this learning in my new job. I interview people with disabilities living in community care facilities to find out what services would most help them. It has really helped me understand the people I speak to.

I’ve also been using my new leadership skills. I am now the Vice President of People First, a national organisation that supports people with intellectual and physical disabilities. We meet and share ideas and support each other. We speak about our lives and we speak up for each other.

And I’ve kept up my running. I go every morning. I even kept up the cold showers. Well, for about two months, then when the weather got cold, I switched back to a hot shower!

I have also used my advocacy abilities to talk to my friends about going on an Outward Bound course. I have told them that it is something they will cherish forever – Outward Bound teaches you that there are other opportunities. I explain that it will change your life and open the door to freedom.

I know first hand how important your donations are! It’s true that your gifts change people’s lives. Thank you for supporting this amazing place and all the people like me who are just waiting to have their lives changed thanks to Outward Bound.

Katrina Sneath, Scott 614

 

Yes! I'd like to support a young Kiwi like Katrina on their journey to Outward Bound!