Allan Sparkes

Cause: Suicide Prevention Australia
Adventure: Larapinta Trail
Social: @allansparkscv

As our Adventurer of the Month, Allan has scored himself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your Inspired Adventure with the Suicide Prevention Australia?

I am a member of the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales Suicide Prevention Advisory Panel and I became aware of the goal of the adventure, i.e. to raise funds to bring indigenous elders to the National Suicide Prevention Conference. Knowing that every dollar raised was going to a cause I was passionate about kicked the plan into gear. The Larapinta Trail was also on my bucket list so it seemed like a great opportunity to combine the two into one.

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to Central Australia before?

I am looking forward to heading into Central Australia. I have been to Uluru and Kata Tjuta before but only for a very short time. This trek will allow me to absorb more and more of this part of Australia, which I just love and respect.

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

Suicide is a tough topic and with it brings so many negative elements.  There is so much stigma surrounding suicide and for me, the highlight was the willingness of people to support me directly knowing I was raising funds for suicide prevention and the flow on positive effect this can have on suicide prevention both directly and indirectly.

"The highlight was the willingness of people to support me directly knowing I was raising funds for suicide prevention"

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

Time. We are all so time poor these days and finding that space of 7 days to complete the trek was the challenge, as I had to put aside family time and professional commitments.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

I am someone who absolutely loves meeting new people and understanding what inspires them in their life. One of the greatest benefits of doing an Inspired Adventure is being involved in the training treks that we do every month before we head out. It gives you a chance to meet the brilliant team from Inspired Adventures and also you get to meet so many wonderful people who are embarking treks all over the world, supporting causes and organisations that mean so much to them. It is such a positive and rewarding experience that is not limited to your own trek and trek buddies.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming adventure?

Being completely devoid of technology in a remote part of our wonderful country, to be able to see, feel and smell our beautiful country and not be distracted by the modern world. I have sailed across the world on my own yacht and one of the greatest times I had was when we were so far from civilization and you can just absorb yourself in your immediate and completely natural environment and I am so looking forward to the remoteness and reconnecting with mother earth.

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

If you are just thinking about doing an Inspired Adventures trek but are a little unsure about it, speak to the team and get the ball rolling. Identify with a location and cause that you are inspired by and start the ball rolling. Speak to your friends/family/workmates who you think would like to be involved and get a team together. And don’t just think the benefits will be derived from the trek itself. The lead up with all the training treks enhances and broadens the benefits you will gain from your involvement.

Don’t be concerned if it may be just you on your own that may be doing a trek with a whole bunch of people you don’t know, positive people are just the best to be with. And I don’t intend to stop my involvement after I complete this trek, I will certainly be doing more of the monthly training treks and then plan on doing more treks and fundraising in the future.

"I am so looking forward to the remoteness and reconnecting with mother earth"

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Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!