Tough times bring rewards

17:46, Jan 28 2013
Georgie Crawford
Young leaders: Marlborough Girls’ College head girl Georgie Crawford, centre, and Marlborough Boys’ College head boy Atu Moli, right, have just returned from a First Light Foundation-sponsored Outward Bound Course. Foundation trustee Grant Baxter, left, welcomes them home.

For most people, the hardest part of doing an Outward Bound course is the extreme physical challenges, but well-built Marlborough Boys College head boy and rugby prop Atu Moli found the toughest thing was speaking in front of people.

He and Marlborough Girls' College head girl Georgie Crawford, along with 14 other young leaders from schools around the country, completed a 21-day School Leaders Course at Anakiwa last Thursday.

Both said they had a fantastic time.

They received sponsorship to attend the course from the Marlborough First Light Foundation.

As head boy, Atu had a whole year of public speaking to get through so it was a good chance to confront his fear.

"There were lots of opportunities to speak in front of people. That is what a head boy needs, those type of skills. I just had to say to myself ‘harden up'. I am a bit shy but I have to just get over it."


He said he enjoyed going out on scheme, where the group did activities like sailing, tramping, and rock climbing. He even enjoyed the solo stint, where each individual was dropped off in the bush to spend two nights alone, because it gave him the chance to plan for the big year ahead.

"Now I am mentally and physically prepared," he said.

MGC head girl Georgie said she learnt a lot about leadership, as well as the importance of being a team player.

"It was about us discovering how far we could push ourselves. They put us into a situation to see how we handle ourselves."

She said she was surprised at how quickly her group came together as a team.

"We got on well. There were some moments that were difficult but we became a much tighter unit because of it."

The hardest part of the course was when the group got caught in a storm while sailing. The rain and wind hit suddenly about 7pm after they had been sailing since five in the morning, forcing them to set up camp for the night in the wet, she said.

"Everyone was freezing and tired. We all had to take turns taking watch of the boat during the night so it did not slip the anchor. It was midway through the course and that is when you start to feel exhausted."

One thing she learnt was that the toughest times were often the most rewarding. "If you face a challenge or barrier you learn a lot more about yourself in those moments," she said.

The Marlborough Express