on Thursday night at a stunning black tie event, young Waiuku athlete Quinn Gardiner-Hall beat over 1,500 applicants to win a $10,000 AMP National Scholarship
The scholarship, which forms part of the AMP “Do Your Thing” campaign, recognises New Zealanders who put their passion into action and have positive impacts on their communities.
Quinn says his thing ‘is to help inspire more Kiwi kids to get active, so we can keep on making awesome Kiwi’s, who achieve awesome stuff.’
“I see heaps of kids my age on their Xboxes, PlayStations and iPads for too long, instead of getting outside and doing stuff. Technology is cool, I love it, but too much time sitting around playing on it isn’t good for kid’s bodies. I wanted to do something awesome to inspire more Kiwi kids to get active, so I’m on a mission to run four half marathons, in four countries, before I turn 12.”
After an extensive application process, finalists of the AMP National Scholarships were then invited to the black tie dinner event at the Auckland Museum last Thursday, where the winners were announced.
“To hear my name get called out was just so amazing. When I went up on the big stage to collect my award from Mr Regan, Managing Director of AMP, and Dame Roseanne, I stood there and looked at all of the people and just thought ‘Wow!’ Luckily I had written a short thank you speech just in case I won, so I read that out and everyone clapped, which was really nice,” adds Quinn.
Quinn has achieved two of his four country half marathons, becoming the youngest ever runner to complete the Kerikeri Half Marathon in 2014 at age eight and the youngest ever runner to complete the Australian Outback Half Marathon this year at age nine.
“The AMP Scholarship is so important to me, as it will help with some of the costs for my next two countries. I have been accepted to run the Kauai Half Marathon in Hawai’i in 2016 and the Antarctica Half Marathon in 2017. I need to gain more funding to cover the rest of the costs but it’s a great start and I feel very lucky.”
“It was really nice talking to Dame Jenny Shipley. She told me that the Prime Minister is passionate about Antarctica and kids health and that I need to talk with him to see if he could help me with my Antarctica trip. So I am going to see if I can have a meeting with him,” adds Quinn.
Quinn’s idols include Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Peter Blake, Valerie Adams and Richie McCaw. “When I am older, I hope to represent my country at an international level.”