Taking the long walk for a cause

Ayrton Konig moved to RoxbyDowns when he was three with hisfamily.
Nanjing Night Net

His parents moved here for workand opened a local business.

Attending Roxby Downs AreaSchool while growing up, he wasoffered an opportunity to attend aprogram called Operation Flinders.

Operation Flinders is a uniqueprogram designed for troubledyouth aged between 14 – 18 to taketheir life in a different direction.

Selected youth go on an eight daytrek over 100km, carrying 12kgbackpacks with their lunch, water,and sleeping gear, in groups offifteen.

Each walk is held on YankaninnaStation, located 65kms east ofLeigh Creek in the NorthernFlinders Ranges.

The rugged andmountainous country is saltbush,native pine and mallee with largegum trees along creek beds.

Although dry, the creekbeds tendto flood easily with moderate rain.

The walk is designed to help thechallenge participants andencourage them to break away fromtheir past and change old habitsand to turn their life in a newdirection.

Ayrton was selected toparticipate on the walk three yearsago, being troublesome and havinglow self-esteem issues, the programhelped him to see positives and aimhigher.

He has now been selected tobecome a peer group mentor on thisyear’s walk.

To become a mentor one needs tohave previously participated in theprogram and responded well.

Theaim of a peer group mentor was tohelp guide youth on the walk and besupportive during the trip.

Being selected to participateagain Ayrton has decided to make ita charitable occasion, trying toraise money for ‘OperationFlinders’.

He has raised $5000 and hopes toreach $10000 with the money beingput back into the program to helpfuture participants.

Training five days a week doingcardio, muscle building and 20kmrides at a time he is working veryhard to achieve his goal.

The walk will take place onSeptember 24 to October 5.

He plans to help participants asmuch as he can and show hissupport for the cause that helpedhim.

ENJOYING NATURE: Ayrton Konig took in the beautiful landscape.