Eight Whangarei teenagers ran, biked and paddled with the Ngunguru sandspit in their sights.
The students from Whangarei Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools trekked from the Town Basin to Ngunguru to raise money and awareness for the Ngunguru Sandspit Protection Society.
In a relay, the team ran to Glenbervie, biked to Scow Landing, kayaked to the entrance of Ngunguru then ran down the main street of Ngunguru.
They raised $350 for the cause.
The eight students have formed a team for the Genesis Energy Secondary Schools Hillary Challenge – an outdoor adventure competition.
This weekend they will take part in a preliminary selection event at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Tongariro.
They will compete in a series of outdoor activities plus problem solving and team work.
The team will also use the Ngunguru sandspit project as an environmental assignment.
Student Callum Harris says the project gives an opportunity to raise awareness about the sandspit, which is proposed to be developed.
The event in Tongariro will give a chance to talk about the issue with a New Zealand-wide audience, he says.
If the Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools team places in the top three in the preliminary event, they will compete in the five-day Hillary Challenge in May.
Callum says the team has been practising together three to four times a week, brushing up on rope skills, mountain biking, orienteering, kayaking and team building.
The relay to Ngunguru was also a training run, although it was completed in a relay so none of the students were too tired or injured for this weekend’s qualifier.
Student Gemma Coutts says the team of three girls and five boys works well, despite competing together for the first time.
"We’re a tight team. We haven’t had any disagreements so far," she says.
- © Fairfax NZ News