Inspirational Kiwis is a series of high-quality books about iconic Kiwis, written and published by author Dreydon Sobanja, which inspire kids to 'dream big.'

About the Author

Dreydon Sobanja has loved running ever since he was a four year old, when he saw John Walker win his 1500-metre gold in Montreal in 1976. Dreaming of wearing the Silver Fern himself, he took up competitive running at school. At the age of 43 he fulfilled a dream when he crossed the line, wearing the Silver Fern, at the Triathlon Age Group World Championships in 2014 in Edmonton, Canada.

Dreydon started his career as an author in his late thirties after struggles with his mental health and a desire to change his life for the better. At that same time he started a journey into endurance sport and these two life changes combined to produce books that inspire kids to be active, strive for their goals and most of all - dream!

His earliest books recorded the feats of iconic Kiwis: Sir Edmund Hillary, Jean Batten and Bruce McLaren, whilst his most recent works focus attention of a plethora of New Zealand runners and Para athletes from all walks of life and spanning three different centuries.

From July to December 2021 Dreydon undertook the Inspirational Kiwis Roadshow. He toured New Zealand visiting schools, libraries, bookstores and athletic clubs to inspire kids and to facilitate discussions about their mental health, whilst raising funds for Anxiety NZ.

We have stocks of The Kiwi Runners' Family Tree: Volume Two 2000 to 2020 and it is available through all good bookstores and online retailers.

This volume includes a more diverse range of athletes, a plethora of top-performing female athletes, our fastest-ever male middle-distance runner, an everyday man who has raised almost one-million dollars for charity and even a weekend warrior, amongst many more talented athletes and Para athletes.

“The successes and stories of the athletes in volume one set the bar high and shone light on some of our greatest running achievements on the international stage. Like any family bloodline, their humility, dedication and success have influenced and built the foundation for the next generation of kiwi runners. This second volume gives you the opportunity to learn about the current generation of Kiwi runners and will hopefully, in turn, inspire those who follow.” — Ruth Croft, Ultra marathon and mountain running champion.

For every copy sold of either volume of The Kiwi Runners' Family Tree, $1.00 is donated to Paralympics New Zealand to help them support their athletes.

The Kiwi Runners' Family Tree: Volume One was published on 1 September 2020 and tells the interconnected stories of over 100 Kiwi runners, and their coaches, who have achieved at international level from the 1800s through to 1999.

"Dreydon Sobanja has captured the Kiwi running experience with aplomb. Never before has there been a book so packed with stories – many told here for the first time – about our nation of runners. Thrilling and inspiring it made me want to put on my running shoes and compete all over again." – Allison Roe MBE New Zealand’s fastest ever female marathoner

The book records and showcases the full gamut of the Kiwi running experience – from our sprinters, middle-distance, long-distance and marathon runners, to our hurdlers and steeplechasers, race walkers, Para athletes, mountain runners, ultra-distance and adventure runners.

Reviews and Publicity

Television Appearances

On the 14th of July 2021 Lisa Tamati appeared on Maori TV click to view

On the 27th of August 2020 Dreydon appeared on The AM Show click to view

Radio Recordings

On the 4th of July 2021 Dreydon chatted with Mel Homer on Magic Talk's Sunday Cafe click to listen

On the 2nd of July 2021 Dreydon and Angie Petty were interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Nine To Noon show click to listen

On the 13th of September 2020 Dreydon was a guest on Radio New Zealand's The Nutters Club part one part two

On the 28th of August 2020 Dreydon and Arch Jelley were interviewed on Newstalk ZB's Sportstalk show click to listen

On the 26th of August 2020 Dreydon and Allison Roe were interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Nine To Noon show click to listen

Print Media

On the 11th of August 2021 Read NZ Te Pou Muramura - Hooked on Books click to view

On the 9th of February 2021 Read NZ Te Pou Muramura click to view

On the 13th of September 2020 KidsBooksNZ reviewed the book click to view

On the 12th of September 2020 Athletics Illustrated reviewed the book click to view

On the 1st of September 2020 the following Q & A appeared on Read NZ Te Pou Muramura click to view

On the 1st of September 2020 the following article was featured on Stuff click to view

Contact Us

Please email us using the link immediately below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Phone:  +64 21 864657
Our Office Location
Auckland 0627
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Other Books in the  Inspirational Kiwis Series
A book about Bruce McLaren for 8 to 12 year olds
A book about Jean Batten for 4 to 8 year olds
A book about Sir Edmund Hillary for 4 to 8 year olds