A group of students from Germany has enjoyed a first major outdoor experience thanks in part to a grant from the It’s Great Out There Coalition.
The My Challenge project saw teenagers from Friedrich Junge School in Großhansdorf complete a multi-day trek through the Alps to Italy, via Austria. The project was organised in partnership with Primaloft and supported by The North Face. This was the first initiative to be awarded an #itsgreatoutthere grant – the coalition expects to confirm more grants in the near future as it continues the campaign to inspire the public across Europe to get active outdoors.
My Challenge involved 13 eighth grade students from Friedrich Junge School, along with teachers. They trekked for 10 days in the Alps, hiking the E5 route from Oberstorf in Germany to Meran/Bozen in Italy. Participants carried their kit and slept in mountain huts, hiking for up to 10 hours each day.
Any non-profit organisation can apply for an #itsgreatoutthere grant. The grants are given to initiatives that focus on grass roots projects, which have primarily been developed to take new participants into the outdoors. The Coalition advises potential applicants to team up with partners from the outdoor industry such as brands, retailers and activity providers, especially those who are already members of the coalition. Projects that can secure match funding from other organisations are encouraged, as that can help initiatives be more viable and sustainable, and engage with a larger number of people.
#itsgreatoutthere grants can be awarded to projects that involve people of all ages and from any background. However, the coalition is prioritising ideas that are designed to help young people access the outdoors for the first time, particularly those who are based in the inner cities or live in circumstances that mean getting access to the hills and mountains is really difficult. The It’s Great Out There Coalition awards grants of between €1,000 and €5,000 (with a limit of one grant per organisation), and projects that can demonstrate sustainability and will keep operating after the funding period are particularly weclome.
Andrew Denton, secretary general of the It’s Great Out There Coalition, comments: “We were delighted to be able to support the My Challenge project with an #itsgreatoutthere grant. It ticked all of the right boxes. The trek helped young people to experience and enjoy the outdoors, the school lined up great additional sponsorship and support from Primaloft and The North Face, and the initiative is not a one-off. It is clear from the photos and report that the children took home memories that they will always cherish, and I hope that their experience in the Alps was the start of a lifelong love affair with the outdoors.
“There are other exciting projects in the pipeline that we expect to award #itsgreatoutthere grants to soon, and we hope that the Friedrich Junge School story will inspire more organisations and individuals to develop ideas and apply for support.”