Language: English | Māori

Makingtrax helps take ‘inclusive adventure’ to the world

Rātā has supported an inspiring company championing inclusive tourism in their mahi to improve access to outdoor adventure sports, which have traditionally been out of reach for many Kiwis and tourists with disabilities.

Makingtrax will use the funding to promote inclusive adventure activities by working with existing sporting and recreation organisations and providing the special equipment and training to make it happen.

The company’s founder, Jezza Williams, says it’s about making Aotearoa New Zealand’s exciting and diverse recreation and adventure opportunities available to everyone.

“Everyone knows that being outdoors opens your mind and potential,” says Jezza.

“As well as working with regional tourism organisations throughout New Zealand, we also provide training and product design to over 50 adventure and recreation organisations throughout the country.”

Much of the required expertise is provided by Makingtrax’s board members and team, who hold appropriate qualifications and bring a range of knowledge across adventure work, mental health, adaptive support, and meeting industry standards in these areas for consultation and equipment design work.

Providing inclusive adventure activities can open a new market for existing organisations and their local operators across the country.

“I don’t go out to change mindsets; I show people what we are doing and blow their mindsets,” says Jezza.

Within the Rātā funding regions, the company works closely with various organisations, including Outward Bound, the Christchurch and Nelson Paragliding Clubs, the Department of Conservation, the Christchurch Adventure Park, Cable Bay Adventure Park, Kaikoura Kayaks, Ultimate Descents Murchison, and many more.

Funding from Rātā has helped to make spaces more inclusive for many people in the community with disabilities and introduced new customers to local recreation and tourism companies through the modification and creation of specialist equipment – such as downhill gravity quads for mountain biking and purpose-built harnesses for rafting and skydiving.

Working with Christchurch Paragliding, Makingtrax has developed specially designed paragliding buggies. Christchurch Paragliding Chief Executive and Founder Ryan Scarlett say the buggies will bring ‘a whole new aspect’ to paragliding.

“It’s going to open it up to a range of different people,” says Ryan. “I feel privileged to fly and offer it to everyone – this is just an absolute game-changer.”   

Once the new equipment is installed, organisations like Christchurch Paragliding are provided with a seal of quality and assurance. Their stories are shared with the world to show what’s possible and available in Aotearoa. These stories appear on and are shared through the popular website – also assisted by Rātā funding.  

Rātā Foundation Chief Executive Leighton Evans says a key funding priority for Rātā is the removal of any barriers to accessing participation opportunities.

Rātā wants a world where more people have access to sports and active recreation opportunities to enhance health and well-being outcomes.

“MakingTrax is doing this and more. They are providing anyone with the disability the opportunity to experience the benefits of outdoor sports while building both confidence and resilience that can be fed back into day-to-day life,” says Leighton.

For Jezza Williams, Rātā support is helping move Makingtrax’s vision forward and make all sports and recreation activities more inclusive.

“We are a wave taking over this country, and we will make Aotearoa, New Zealand, the inclusive capital of the world,” says Jezza.