Walking the country for a few good causes
A MAN who gave everything away to go walking the country has just arrived in Gisborne.
In the latest instalment of his big adventure, he has walked with surfboard in tow from Mahia.
Franz-Oliver Lindsay has hit the roads to raise money for suicide awareness, for suicide prevention and to raise awareness of sexual assault.
This time, his cause is the Mahisian Wave Warriors, and he is raising money to buy surfboards for young people.
Originally from Tauranga, Franz-Oliver said he now walks to “live my life”.
“I go to schools and ask kids what their fears are. I'll go and accomplish those fears, and tell them if I can do it, you can do it.”
A friend of his in Mahia, Wayne, created the Mahisian Wave Warriors to help prevent depression, and Franz-Oliver decided it was a great cause for him to put on his walking shoes again.
“Wayne gives surfboards away to kids, and he does it out of his own pocket,” he said.
Franz-Oliver quit his job just over a year ago after coming clean from his own drug demons.
He came across Wayne when he was spending time in Mahia fishing, hunting and diving. Wayne gave up time to teach him to surf, prompting Franz-Oliver to buy his own surfboard.
Now he's walking to raise as much as he can for the Mahisian Wave Warriors, his own way to give back to the community that supported him.
His walk continued this morning to the town clock, and he says he will stay around Gisborne for a week or two before heading off on the next leg of his travels, taking him to Napier, Hastings, Bluff down south, and then a little further afield to Angourie on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia.
“I've never met my father, in my 36 years of living on the planet I've never met him.”
Franz-Oliver's dad took off for Angourie before having a chance to meet his unborn son. A surfer, he saw a movie in which the legendary surf breaks at Angourie featured and fell in love with the place.
Franz-Oliver said that was pretty much the same way he felt when he saw Mahia, and he's been wanting to come to this part of the country since the second lockdown.
But for now he's focused on the surfing youngsters in Mahia, asking people to donate to his fundraiser account.
You can follow Franz-Oliver on Facebook at mygreatadventurenz, and you might see him around town. Twenty or so people greeted him on his arrival in Gisborne and he loves it when people come out to say hello.
But for the next day or two he might be lying low with his feet up, recovering from his latest big adventure.