Grafton Local – In the Spotlight
Sometimes you don’t realize how awesome people are until you stop and listen to them for a while. You know the kind of people who are always there making sure stuff gets done. Grafton local Gavin Rayward is one of those guys – he is always somewhere around ensuring that everyone gets to be involved in super cool stuff, usually in the outdoors, whether it be paddling, running or orienteering. And let’s face it, Clarence Valley is spectacular so why wouldn’t you want to be outdoors? Gavin volunteers in many local groups, all with the one aim – getting people outside and enjoying the gorgeous Grafton area.
We are pretty excited to see him competing in Adventurethon Ultimate Demolish this November 25 & 26, in his local “playground”! Knowing the local tracks, trails and waterways has got to have some advantages. But at the end of the day, as any of our Adventurethoners know, it comes down to heart and spirit…that “never give up” tenacity that we admire so much.
Volunteering can take up a fair bit of time, but is also so rewarding seeing people getting out there, building relationships, enjoying their friends and family and getting away from the little screens we have all become very attached to. (it’s called balance, right?). We know (at Adventurethon HQ) just how valuable volunteers are – we could not give you the amazing events without the support of some of the most fantastic volunteers around the country.
Check this out for some of the local activities Gavin is usually involved in.
- Grafton Street-O (part of Bush n Beach orienteering club) basically it is a series of 6 events held on the second Friday of the month during daylight savings. Competitors have a map and a clue sheet and have 45 minutes to collect as many points as they can. Depending on the location of the check point, they could be worth 1, 2 or 3 points. Purpose is to promote an active community and the cost is only $2 per person. Caters for all abilities. While orienteering is typically an individual sport, people seem to go out in groups in this area. At the final event for the year, we use the proceeds to put on a free feed and have random door prizes of gifts donated by local communities.
- Big River Canoe Club: local canoe club which we are trying to get up and running. We have an awesome river and river system in the area and we are trying to get people to active in the sport. Big River Canoe club has some flat water and white water boats, which members can borrow and get on the water. There’s no real set training times at the moment, people just turn up and go for a paddle when they can. There is no better way to start you day than going for a paddle in the morning. Regular training sessions are likely to be up and running next year. Several white water training camps are organized each year, which gives people a chance to experience the excitement of white water paddling. A little known fact is that CHS canoeing is held each year in Grafton and Nymboida. It is great opportunity for local schools to compete at a higher level without having to travel.
- Clarence 100 which Big River Canoe Club hosts. It is a 3 day paddle from Copmanhust to Yamba down the scenic Clarence River. It can be as relaxed (within reason) or competitive as you like. Great social opportunities throughout the event with lunches at local pubs at the end of each stage.
- Glory days: free exercise group. Meet on Tuesday mornings between 6 and 7. Do a range of activities and is set up so you can have a rest whenever you want. Social interaction is also a large part of the group, which society seems to be lacking these days.
- Northern Marathon series (kayaking), and organize the Grafton event.
- Grafton Parkrun: Gavin likes to get to park run whenever he can. He loves the community spirit of it and how everyone is just there to do their best.
Gavin tells us, “I am really excited to be competing in the Adventurethon demolish. We live in a fantastic area and it is awesome that an event like this can showcase where we live. The event will attract all levels of participants. I am a general all-rounder, but I would say that I am looking forward to the run leg the most. I am not a great runner, and have probably bitten off more than I can chew at this stage. It is pretty spectacular scenery up the George and it is not the “run of the mill” run leg. There is plenty of rock hopping and a swim or two thrown in.
Although I don’t do much of it, I do enjoy adventure racing and have taken podium positions in the AROC series and Geoquest (half). This was some time ago though. Most recent events include the Washpool 52km trail run last year, Geoquest in June 2017 and the Northern Raid in July. I love the team work and the challenge required to navigate your way around an adventure race, knowing that at some point you are going to be the weakest link. I am looking forward to the Adventurethon format where we don’t have to navigate or keep up with team mates. It is just me and my mind on the course to see how quickly I can finish it. Given the amount of training I am putting in at the moment, I am just hoping to finish it.”
Make sure you say hey to Gavin over the weekend at Adventurethon Demolish (maybe even shout at him to keep going!) because we think you’ll agree he’s a pretty cool guy!
If you haven’t registered for Adventurethon Demolish in Clarence Valley, NSW, November 25 & 26 yet, but would like to, just click HERE and if you would love to volunteer click HERE. We are so excited about the whole weekend and know it is going to be an absolute blast!