Winning the Enterprising Rural Women’s Stay, Play Rural Award in November provided me with a renewed confidence for speaking out and being proud of everything I have worked hard to accomplish with Easyhike.

I entered the competition from Iceland, having spent the last 4 months running a local JetbBobbie Mulgrew and Sophie Stanley 2oat business with my husband, and preparing my small business for the coming season.  It would have been very easy to slide the awards into the too hard basket, however I recognised the challenge and didn’t want to miss the opportunity for a little extra exposure for my growing business.

As I prepared my entry to the competition, I was forced to recognise how much the business had steadily grown and how much success potential lay ahead with further hard work.  It was nice when newspapers contacted me regarding the article they were writing about award contestants, wanting to know more about who we were and what we did.

The real challenge was when short listed, travelling to Wellington to present Easyhike to the judging panel.  This took me a long way outside my comfort zone, however I took the bull by the horns and confidently told the judges about the essence of Easyhike and why we were so passionate about helping people walk the Routeburn Track.

I am so glad I put the time and effort into entering the awards back in August, the personal growth and challenge I experienced feels phenomenal and the publicity generated by the awards far exceeded my expectations – we are still taking phone calls from people who read about us in the newspaper.

A huge thanks to Rural Women New Zealand for holding the annual awards and of course the sponsors for Stay, Play Rural – Xero.  Since the awards, Easyhike has continued moving from strength to strength – this is the first summer we have offered our hassle free hiking packages and they are proving to be very popular.