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Walk Leaders Needed 23 September 2004

Preparations are underway to host the Isle of Man's second annual walking festival next year from June 19-24.

And the Department of Tourism and Leisure is inviting any local walkers interested in becoming a voluntary walk leader or assistant leader to attend a recruitment/briefing evening next week.

The walk leaders get together is on Wednesday (September 29) at the Villa Marina Promenade Suite, starting at 7.30pm, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Tourism Minister David Cretney explained:

"Hosting the Walking Festival is a new but very logical venture for my Department and I am grateful for all those who supported it by acting as leaders or assistant leaders this summer. However, in the same way motorsport events require marshals to operate, we could not continue to stage the walking festival without volunteer walk leaders, and I am appealing to anyone interested to go along to the Villa on Wednesday to enable us to run the event next year and in future years."

Volunteers should be over 18 and with an interest in walking and good local knowledge.

John Dog Callister is the voluntary co-ordinator of the walk leaders. He said: "I work with the festival organiser Terry Marsh to ensure both visiting and resident walkers taking part in the festival have the benefit of local knowledge while they enjoy the various walks in the programme. We are hoping to build on the numbers taking part last year so we will need more walk leaders next June.

"People thought it worked well last year and the most positive feedback was about the inclusion of local people on the walks, and the level of knowledge and enthusiasm from the walk leaders and assistants."

Anyone interested in becoming a walk leader or assistant leader should attend the Villa briefing at 7.30pm on Wednesday. If you are unable to attend but would like to register your interest, please email specialevents@gov.im or phone the Department of Tourism's Special Events Unit on 644644.

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