Monday 20 May 2019
ASB partnering with Youthline at the ASB Christchurch Marathon to make every step count
Thousands of people from across New Zealand and overseas will be supporting Youthline when they cross the finish at this
year’s ASB Christchurch Marathon.
As well as collecting a medal for completing the event, every entrant who runs an extra 20 metres past the finish line
to a secondary finish will have ASB donate $5 to Youthline on their behalf.
With race organisers expecting more than 4,000 entrants, the partnership is likely to raise about $20,000 – a
contribution Youthline chief executive Shae Ronald says will be a huge boost for the organisation.
“We’re always looking to grow our volunteer base but training these volunteers to be able to handle the stressful
situations they may find themselves in is a process that requires investment. ASB’s generosity will enable us to train
up to 25 new volunteers, which equates to about 500 conversations each month. Which is a lot,” says Ronald.
“Demand for our services, and the intensity of what we are working with continues to increase and this funding will have
a significant and meaningful impact for us, and the people we help on a daily basis,” says Ronald.
For the last three years, ASB as the naming sponsor of the Marathon, has contributed to the local community through
various initiatives, including its 2017 initiative ‘Run back the Tracks’ where the distance run by race entrants
correlated to funding from ASB to help rebuild running tracks through the Port Hills, following fire damage earlier in
ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says ASB chose to partner with Youthline to make a quantifiable
difference in the lives of local Cantabrians after what had been a tough start to the year.
“The events of earlier this year took a toll right across New Zealand, but nowhere more so than Christchurch. We wanted
to partner with Youthline because we have a huge amount of respect for the work they do, and we know how vital that work
is, especially after recent events,” says Graham.
“We’re proud that every person who completes the ASB Christchurch Marathon this year and crosses the second line will be
helping to support an incredibly worthwhile cause,” says Graham.
Funding will be used to train and develop volunteers at call centres across New Zealand, with a proportion of the
funding designated specifically for Christchurch’s call centre.
Race Director, Chris Cox says the ASB sponsorship has been a lifeline of sorts for the marathon too.
“The Christchurch earthquakes were almost nine years ago now, but it has taken us that long to get the event back into
the city and based again at the Christchurch Town Hall, and we’re only just now starting to get participation back to
where it was in 2010. ASB’s support has been instrumental in helping this happen,” says Cox.
Now in its 39th year, the Marathon will be held on Sunday June 2nd at the Christchurch Town Hall.
Youthline was established in 1970 to provide support to young people in need and has more than 48 years’ experience
working with young people and their families throughout New Zealand. Initially set up as a telephone counselling
helpline service, for youth and run by youth, it is today a first point of contact for young people in New Zealand to
access a wide range of youth development and support services across the country.
In the year to March 2018, Youthline worked with over 41,000 individual young people and managed over 298,730 digital
connections through its hubs nationwide.
The free Helpline is staffed by volunteer counsellors who are supervised by a clinical team of Triage staff. The free
Helpline services are only minimally government funded.
About the ASB Christchurch Marathon
Now in its 39th year, the Marathon is returning to its original start and finish line at the Christchurch Town Hall,
after an eight-year rebuild following earthquake damage.
Inspired by the 1974 Commonwealth Games marathon, the ASB Christchurch Marathon is renowned as one of the fastest
courses in the world, and runs past iconic landmarks such as Cathedral Square, Hagley Park and the Avon River.
The event features the 42.2km full marathon, the 21.1km half marathon, a 10km and the Kids’ Mara’Fun. This year the
event will also play host to the New Zealand Marathon Championship.