Sithmi Invites you to support OB - Outward Bound

Sithmi Invites you to support OB

Life after OB

Kia ora, my name is Sithmi. Originally born in Sri Lanka, I spent most of my life growing up in the Middle East until our family moved to New Zealand about four years ago.

Last year I completed a 21-day Outward Bound Mind Body Soul course. When I first stepped onto the jetty, I fell in love with Anakiwa - a beautiful masterpiece created by mother nature.

At school I was introduced to the SHIFT programme which is about increasing wellness and fitness in young women. SHIFT had an Outward Bound scholarship available for volunteers and I put my hand up!

I tried to research what I’d be doing each day on the course but couldn’t find much. From what I could gather, I would be away for 21 days and make lots of great friends. So, I thought it was going to be a bit like a holiday...

Well! I thought I knew what pain and exhaustion felt like, but it was at Outward Bound where I truly learned the meaning of those words.

I was pushed beyond my limits to a point where my body took over my mind. Where I discovered a hidden strength that enabled me to row for hours and tramp on painful wet feet and yet wake up at the crack of dawn with a smile on my face. Being surrounded by people who gave it their all every step of the way was so inspiring and motivated me to ‘dig deep’.

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That’s me in Anakiwa (right) with my watchmate Tegan

For me Outward Bound is a place full of love, happiness and triumph. It allows each individual to find the spark to power through whatever hardship they are faced with.

Rock climbing was something I had never done or even thought of doing, mostly because I have a fear of heights.

On my first attempt, I could only climb ten steps up the rock face because the longer I spent holding onto the rock, contemplating the possibility of falling, the weaker I became.

Eventually, with everything shaking, I began hyperventilating and had to be helped down.

After two more similar attempts, I got off the rock and found a spot in the shade and observed my watchmates. They were really enjoying themselves on the wall, some were even attempting it blindfolded, and I thought ‘why can’t I do that’?

So, I decided to get back up and give it another go. This time however, with motivation from my instructor and my awesome watchmates, I made it to the top. And I knew I was in safe hands. I totally trusted them – they had me.

Having the quality equipment to keep us safe gave me the courage to push through. Just knowing that if I made a wrong move, I’d be fine because of the harness and helmet protecting me.

I’m thankful for the struggles I had at OB because without them I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strengths. I discovered the ability to live life wild and free and be able to adapt to whatever life throws at me – like rock climbing!


Student safety is number one at Outward Bound and maintaining and replacing equipment like ropes, helmets, harnesses and life jackets is ongoing.

Will you join me, and support Outward Bound with a donation for essential safety equipment, and help keep future students safe?


Yours in adventure,

Sithmi Sathruwani - Kupe 637


I'd like to help students like Sithmi stay safe at Outward Bound

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