No time for timid at Tahunanui

With hearty battle cries, Tahunanui School students braved the cold and charged into the ocean for their annual mid-winter swim.

About 80 students from years 4, 5 and 6, as well as parents and teachers, held to the tradition on a cold morning yesterday, to take a plunge.

Each year the school has a different theme for the swim, and this year it was the World Cup. Swimmers wore coloured wigs, football shirts and there was even a football bra.

They gathered on the beach and chanted and yelled as sports co-ordinator Aidan Barnett roused them to brave the cold waters.

The event has been going for more than 20 years, and principal Paul Drummond said it reflected the school's motto of "I can, I will".

Ben Mercer, 10 said the mid-winter swim was "freezing and totally awesome". He had taken part last year as well, and thought this year as cold as last. This year was particularly special because it was his last year at the school.

"I thought it would be good (to do) for my last year of primary."

Parent Joy Shackleton was in full support on the tradition. She wore a football bra, made of a cut-up football, and stayed in the water for about 15 minutes.

She had been involved in the swim for at least 20 years, either participating or watching her own children as well as nieces and nephews.

She said it was a good tradition to put the school motto into action and show values of determination.

The Nelson Mail