Aussenkehr Desert Extreme
Our purpose, driven by the commitment to achieve an extraordinary event, is fourfold:
To responsibly organize a multi-day running event that attracts the interest of both local and international competitors.
To raise funds for education and improvements to the local school, Aussenkehr Primary.
Community aid by co-involvement of the local community members.
To promote tourism and conservation in Aussenkehr by creating awareness of this magnificent area and to involve and educate the local community in retaining the natural beauty of this region.
The Aussenkehr Desert Extreme is a trail running event which is hosted over a period of 5 days normally during mid winter. The route is confirmed at 100 km over a 3 day period.
♦ Day 1 = 38 km along the River starting at the Shambok and ending at the Sjambok River Camp
♦ Day 2 = 36 km from Norotshama to the overnight race village in the Nature Park.
♦ Day 3 = 26 km night run from the race village through the local town and ending at Norotshama River Resort.
Due to the fact that this event is fairly new to Aussenkehr and also because of the extremity of the race, the amount of participants are limited to 50 entries (plus their families). Only extreme athletes are able to participate in this event. As following the success of the past event we are aiming to develop this into an annual and possibly a multi-discipline event. The event is hosted by the Aussenkehr Nature Park, which is managed by Norotshama River Resort, and organized by Mountain Extreme Events. Details on the event, links to pictures and the You Tube video and entry forms can be accessed on their website: www.mountainextreme.co.za
The Aussenkehr local community and Primary School has been nominated as worthy beneficiaries and funds raised during this event will be used for an upliftment program to their benefit.
The Aussenkehr Primary School
This school consists of 500 pupils. Due to a lack of classroom space, lectures have to take place in two shifts; one in the morning and one during the afternoon. The money raised from this event will be utilized to extend the classrooms so that all the children can be accommodated during normal school hours and that all can have the opportunity to participate in extramural activities in the afternoon.To extend the school building is our main objective at this stage but there are undoubtedly many other and varied needs. These include such basics as educational material and stationery, more teachers, improving the learning environment, school uniforms and basic nutritional requirements.
Local community involvement
The children are involved in making medals for all the contestants during their art classes and they will be handing the medals out personally to each contestant. The school choir will also perform at the medal ceremony.The locals are also offered the opportunity to add value to the race by helping with the many logistical operations incurred by the event. Activities in this regard include course preparation, marshals and stewards, setup and breakdown crews, catering, seconding/feed tables, cleaning crews and drivers. Local dancers will also perform their Wambu folk dance at the medal ceremony.Our policy on community aid is not to issue donations as such, but rather to pay them a pre-negotiated fee for their involvement and services. This policy works extremely well as it helps them to understand the purpose of the event as far as conservation and upliftment is concerned. This also gives the beneficiaries a sense of purpose and they become highly motivated and passionate about the event.
With its vast open spaces, the Namibia desert appears to be a very resilient landscape. The truth is this is in actual fact an extremely sensitive and fragile eco system. The Aussenkehr Nature Park was known to host a very popular annual event in the past called the Aussenkehr Mini Eco Challenge. This event raised a lot of money but for less important causes and was sadly to the determent of the environment.The new management of the Aussenkehr Nature Park negotiated with the land owner to replace this event with a more environmentally friendly event aka the “Aussenkehr Desert Extreme”. Another aim of this event is to promote tourism and conservation of this area to the benefit of its people by creating an awareness of the region through associated sponsorship and media interest.A conservation fee is charged upon entry into the park and the Nature Park fee along with the tourism levy is automatically included in the resort rates. A percentage of this fee will also be allocated to implement an educational program in the community and school to educate the locals on sustaining and maintaining their beautiful and special environment.
This is the Second event of its nature to be hosted in Aussenkehr which make it difficult to initially get cash sponsorship on board. In the past we received some retail sponsorships such as First Accent who sponsored N$5’000 in prizes, Norotshama River Resort gave accommodation packages and some other smaller sponsors for giveaways.
Broad outline of cost division
We are reliant on cash sponsorship to cover event expenses of approximate N$100’000. We propose to split the funds initially as follows:
N$50’000 for the purpose of:
Banner and other promotional material displaying the sponsors logo’s
Winners medals and floating shield
Contestant T’s and Bags
Should any money be left over after the event expenses have been covered, it will be transferred to the Nature Park’s account to add to the upliftment amount below.N$50’000 for the use in upliftment program related to the event:
Wages to locals who help in the event
T-shirts for the locals
Expenses involved in the extension of Aussenkehr Primary School.
The event entry fee is N$2’600 of which N$1’495 is allocated toward accommodation and meals for the duration of the event. The balance will be to cover the event organizer’s overheads and marketing efforts.Norotshama River Resort have brought accommodation rates down to cost for families of participants and offers 10 chalets free of charge for special guests i.e. celebrity athletes, commentators etc. The resort also spent a substantial amount on infrastructure in preparation of the site.
It is important to mention that this is a non profit event and none of the organizing bodies i.e. Norotshama River Resort or Extreme Mountain Events are gaining any profit as result of this event.
♦ There is media publicity which includes newspaper and TV coverage.
♦ In 2012 a 10 minute slot on Super Sport, South Africa (and Namibia’s) biggest sport channel was given to us free of charge. This usually amounts up to R50 000 if not more.
♦ Press releases are placed in various newspapers and community papers.
♦ Articles and photographs are placed in running magazine and other related sports and tourism publications.
The community is most mindful of the support they receive form the participants and the sponsors. It is for this reason that they welcome visitors so warmly into their area and onto some of the best trail running terrain Namibia has to offer. Make a difference in the lives of many and make this the highlight of their year!