Real Riviera Introduces a “Happy Hiker” Series of Walks by Judy Churchill


My colleague Tamara Chrilovich and I met Judy at her home in Monte Carlo for tea and coffee. We were both interested in Judy getting on board and writing for Real Riviera. Intrigued about her lifestyle and curious to discuss her success and general outlook on life. What makes Judy so positive and provides the drive for running her own business, coaching and being General Secretary of Outward Bound Monaco and not to mention family duties? We discovered that there was more to our meeting. Pulsing in the background was the fact, we all share the common thread of encouraging positive, good feelings for ourselves and the people around us.

Judy is interested and actively involved in many things but resonates particularly with the charity Outward Bound. Judy radiates happiness as she explained how she witnessed first hand the transformational effect Outward Bound had on her children. As well as working along side the instructors on the local courses she also benefited from the charity. Her charity work is important as part of her giveback contribution to the local community. This ties into her love of being outdoors, mountains, sea and walking. Not only to relax her from a busy schedule but being outdoors, and particularly activities that involve teamwork are vital to wellbeing as they connect us to nature and to each other. Outward Bound embellishes the view that outdoor activities are the ideal setting in which to carry out the different physical and mental activities that help the positive development of young people,  encouraging them to reach their full potential and as she explained, allowing ‘ a more receptive mode’.


How did you first get involved with Outward Bound?
Back in 2003 the Duke of York asked me if I would help organise the very first OB UK fundraiser on Monaco soil. I suggested that he should invite the then crown Prince Albert of Monaco and as a result of that meeting OB Monaco was created.

Why does Outward Bound resonate with you? Did you follow courses growing up?
While I was growing up I was a patrol leader in the girl guides and took part in many Outward Bound type activities and I did a lot of mountain walking in the Lake district, Italy and Switzerland with my family as my father was a prominent athlete and keen hiker. I in turn became a competitive athlete both in the UK and then Monaco so I spent a lot of time training outdoors! Both my children completed Outward Bound courses and I saw how it increased their selfconfidence. I am a great believer in encouraging self-reliance, perseverance and determination as they make for a more functional person and society in general so everything about OB resonates with me as the whole of society benefits.



Is Outward Bound for everyone?
Yes, I do believe that everyone should get involved with Outward Bound, especially girls. It should be integrated into the school curriculum. Outward Bound is a great leveler and no one sex has an advantage. It doesn’t matter what your background is when you do Outward Bound everyone starts from zero with an equal chance.

Would you like to see more Outward Bound in Monaco? ?
I would love to see us increase our local offering and have our own centre one day. The need is there and if 34 other countries can do it why shouldn’t we?

Do you think we need more than gyms to keep fit and why?
I think gyms are great and I use them. They play a huge role in encouraging people to keep fit and preparing people for outdoor sport. But fitness should be holistic and you need a variety of ways to stay healthy. Being outdoors and above all in the mountains and forests will affect you on a molecular and cellular level. The latest studies published show that you can increase your chances of leading a long and healthy life by 76% if you go hiking. But it’s more than that; the scenery and peaceful environment immediately lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system and is a feast for the eyes.

How can more people get involved in the charity?
We would love more people to come on board as members. Its only 50 euros /year and a membership form can be downloaded from our websitewww.outwardboundmonaco.com . We are always thrilled to work with local companies and individuals who would like to become members of our ‘Patron’s Company’ through their sustainable sponsorship and in return we will help promote them in any way we can.

How can the Outward Bound message be heard and understood by more people?
We have worked hard this year at increasing awareness, organizing events for the local children that have been supported by sports celebrities who are helping to get the message out there. We have a very special event coming up on 8th November – The Princes’ Cup – a bespoke celebrity/VIP rowing race in the port of Monaco under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II and dedicated to our joint Patrons HSH Prince Albert and HRH the Duke of York. It will be a fabulous event and we invite sponsorship at all levels from anyone who would like to be involved. I can be contacted on [email protected]

What are your plans for the charity for the next year?
We plan to increase the number of children we send on OB courses to the UK from 30 to 50 and also step up our local activities and hopefully embark on more ambitious projects if we have the support.

How often do you walk?
I try to go on a serious hike at least once a week, weather permitting. It’s my way of resetting my system and boosting my energy levels for the week ahead. When I’m coaching people I have to be in optimum mental and physical shape so that I can give the very best to my clients. The mountains are a great place to find inspiration and clarity, not to mention being located in the most breath-taking beauty spots. Most people have no idea what is sitting on their doorstep.


What is your favourite walk?
Ha ha I thought you’d ask that one and it’s not easy to answer. There are so many. Every time I do a new walk I think I like it better that the previous one. However the ‘Gorges de L’Estéron’ has to be pretty high up on my short list along with the ‘Tour du Mont Grazian’. But honestly there are so many it often comes down to saying “which area do I fancy going to today?” and then planning a hike around it.

Judy can be contacted at [email protected]

judy portrait



About the author

Kay Hare

Kay Hare

Kay works as an Artist from a studio overlooking Monte Carlo. She trained in classical painting in London and moved to the South of France seven years ago. Her paintings embellish the positive aspects of life and she is always promoting a better, healthier lifestyle. Kay exhibits frequently in Monte Carlo, French Riviera and London. Her work is in private collections in Europe and Monte Carlo and corporate collections in London. Most of the paintings are oil on linen recently incorporating natural gemstone diamonds and gold leaf. Whilst working as an artist Kay also worked for the Daily Telegraph Group in London and Monaco Life writing selected articles and features in art.

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