Olympian Andrea Hewitt auctions bike, sets up foundation to help young triathletes go the distance
Current world number two triathlete, Kiwi Andrea Hewitt is chasing gold of another kind. To help up-and-coming triathletes and other sportspeople, Andrea has worked closely with Perpetual Guardian to set up a Foundation in her name. The AH Foundation aims to support athletes who may not otherwise be able to afford training and equipment, and will get off the starting blocks in her home town of Christchurch. To officially launch the AH Foundation, Andrea will auction her own competition bike at a special launch event on Thursday 22 June, and the money raised will go directly into the AH Foundation to fund the support of athletes.
The former Christchurch Girls’ High School student had her first competitive foray into triathlon in 2005, following several years of dedication to and training in swimming and surf life-saving. Andrea has enjoyed great success as a triathlete, from winning the U23 World Championships in Gamagori in 2005 to representing New Zealand on the world stage at three Olympic Games. Doing well for New Zealand has been her driving force, and she wants to see the same opportunities available to other young Kiwi athletes.
However, one barrier posed to young triathlete hopefuls, she says, is resource. “I’ve watched the number of young athletes coming into triathlon slowly decline over the years, particularly since I was at high school. I think this comes down to several factors, but the biggest ones would have to be cost, resources and training facilities. Students can get very good at swimming and running for relatively low cost. However, to get a decent road bike adds cost, which for many is unattainable – a top high-performance triathlon bike is priced at around $10,000 – meaning it’s hard to turn promising young athletes into triathletes. Talent does not discriminate, and I want to help support talented individuals whose main barrier is the financial means to get ahead.”
Andrea credits her success to her support network, which includes her family, local community in Christchurch, coaches, sporting colleagues and her late fiancé and coach Laurent Vidal.
Andrea has been able to establish the AH Foundation thanks to a new philanthropy model. The Perpetual Guardian Foundation, which promotes ‘everyday philanthropy’ as an affordable and accessible way of giving, has established a sub fund and donated seed funding of $50,000 to launch Andrea’s philanthropic coaching programme for up-and-coming athletes.
The purpose of the AH Foundation is to give budding athletes the training and financial assistance they need. Moreover, contributions to the foundation can come from anywhere, and start at as little as $5.
Andrea says the AH Foundation has a wide embrace, “We want to help athletes at a grassroots level to get into sport and build a team around them – whether it’s triathlon or multisport, or swimming, running or cycling. A group environment is much better for training and helps keep people in the sport, and even for athletes who aren’t necessarily aiming to get to a global level of competition, they are getting great training and advice, and making friends.”
Andrea is already inviting young athletes to join her in her own training. She says since she started swimming on Sundays, around 15 other youngsters have joined the weekly Christchurch session alongside her. And though the AH Foundation will, over time, offer financial support to young athletes seeking to reach the upper echelons of competition, people of any age wanting to train with a group are welcome to be a part of the programme.
In line with legislation for charities, the AH Foundation operates with the charitable objective of advancing purposes beneficial to the community – in this case, education and health. It is a charitable entity registered as part of the Perpetual Guardian Foundation, with reporting obligations to Charities Services and an advisory board comprising of Andrea and Dr John Hellemans, the Christchurch-based sports medicine practitioner and well-known New Zealand triathlon coach.
Perpetual Guardian is a primary sponsor of Andrea as an international competitor, and supported her Rio Olympic journey.
Kirsten Taylor, Philanthropy Services Manager at Perpetual Guardian, says, “The AH Foundation is a wonderful example of our vision and intentions when we established the Perpetual Guardian Foundation as an umbrella vehicle for people like Andrea, who want to be everyday givers and have a purpose they’re passionate about. Having an umbrella structure reduces the governance and compliance costs while enabling our donor clients to focus on what they are great at.
“The rules under which New Zealand charities and charitable trusts operate today are strict, as they should be, and by operating the AH Foundation as a sub fund under this umbrella vehicle, Andrea can focus on fundraising and coaching to advance the careers of young athletes.”
Perpetual Guardian CEO Grant Kemble says, “Our philanthropy services are an important part of our overall service to New Zealand, and we are pleased to see our vision for what is possible in the charitable sector expanding through Andrea’s example. We are proud to be the enabler for Andrea’s generosity in finding an innovative way to encourage and support the next generation of Olympians – her foresight and efforts are to be applauded.”
How to contribute
Contributions to the AH Foundation can be made by bank deposit to Perpetual Guardian’s bank account 02-0108-0306765-03 with the reference ‘AH Foundation’, or by contacting Kirsten Taylor at Perpetual Guardian on 09 909 5182, 0800 87 87 82 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this link for more information.
For further information:
+64 (0)21 271 3318
About the AH Foundation
The deed of the AH Foundation includes the following specifications:
For the advancement of education, and the benefit of improved health, fitness and wellbeing through participation in sport and particularly:
- To provide resources, financial and other assistance for the promotion of triathlon in New Zealand.
- To organise, provide or assist in the organisation and provision of coaching and facilities which will enable and encourage participation in the sport of triathlon ensuring that due attention is given to the physical education and development of life skills.
- To provide or assist in the provision of equipment of every kind for the sport of triathlon.
- To foster interest in and advancement of the traditions of the sport of triathlon.
- Such other charitable purposes as the settlor or advisory committee may decide.
About Andrea Hewitt
Born in Christchurch, Andrea was always active growing up, competing in swimming, running, surf life-saving and multisport. She began triathlon in 2005 after meeting John Hellemans while training for the Coast to Coast and coached her up until 2008. In 2009, Laurent began coaching Andrea. She is a three-time Olympian, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and the most consistent women’s performer in the World Triathlon Series, with five race wins and five overall World Series podiums since it began in 2009.
About the Perpetual Guardian Group
New Zealand’s leading statutory trust business, Perpetual Guardian, was created with the coming together of Perpetual Trust and Guardian Trust. As two of New Zealand’s oldest trustee companies, they have more than 130 years of experience in providing estate planning services to New Zealand individuals, families and companies.
In the private client services sector, Perpetual Guardian’s mission is to ensure that every New Zealander has a Will and every child is protected by one. They do this by making Wills affordable and accessible to everyone. All consultants are specialists in their field – for example, Client Managers are experts in finding a solution that uniquely fits each client’s needs, using well-crafted Wills, Trusts, EPAs and other legal structures. Perpetual Guardian helps to preserve everything clients have worked for by ensuring their wishes are carried out, often for generations, after they are gone.
The experience and reputation of Guardian Trust have made the company the preferred provider of corporate trustee services for many of New Zealand’s leading corporations, financial institutions, fund managers and banks. Guardian Trust proactively monitors the obligations of its clients to their investors in a commercial and pragmatic manner and with regard to its duties at law, including the provisions of the relevant Trust deed. As a statutory supervisor and corporate trustee, Guardian Trust has over $140 billion in assets under supervision.
As the country’s pre-eminent provider of philanthropic services, Perpetual Guardian manages over 550 charitable foundations and through these makes charitable grants in excess of $25 million each year. Perpetual Guardian offers strategic advice, long-term investment management, careful planning and a commitment to ensuring that people’s generosity is effectively sustained over many lifetimes.