Nelson has a reputation as being a Mecca for alternative and adventure sports, but it seems the region's youth could forfeit an opportunity to prove it.
The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC) is running its seventh Get2Go challenge, New Zealand's "premier outdoor adventure title". But with only four entries, the regional event could be canned in Tasman.
OPC events manager Darren Ashmore is encouraging students to show their leadership skills, take the initiative and organise their friends into a team these holidays.
And, when they get back to school next term they can go to their sports co-ordinators, get it signed-off and champion the region's claim to be at the cutting edge of adventure games.
"We only have four confirmed entries from three schools for the Nelson-Tasman event and need a minimum of 10 teams for the event to run," said Ashmore.
"Other regions are already at capacity with 24 teams registered, so it's a bit of a mystery as to why the numbers are so low in what is one of the country's adventure sports capitals."
The event, now in its seventh year, is open to all year 9 and 10 students and no special experience is needed to compete.
Teams of eight represent their schools in a range of fun but testing challenges, including orienteering, kayaking, problem solving, rock climbing and mountain biking, all in an Amazing Race-style competition.
The locations of the four challenges on the day will be kept secret until the day, to give each team the fairest possible chance.
The competition has two stages; a one-day regional heat set for Thursday, July 26 in Nelson and a gruelling five-day final in December, in which only the best teams from each region will be selected to compete.
Waimea College finished second at the OPC base on Great Barrier Island last year and are one of the entries as they attempt to go one better in 2012.
Golden Bay High School, Waimea special education and Salisbury School are the other Nelson teams entered, each team with different reasons for competing.
Some, like Waimea College and Golden Bay will have designs on the title, while for others it's about pushing boundaries and possibly upsetting the more fancied teams.
"Our main aim is to get these kids having fun in the outdoors," said Ashmore.
"But the event is also designed to encourage those students who might not normally get involved in sports to have a go."
The regional event will be run in conjunction with local sports and outdoor clubs, which Ashmore said had the added bonus of introducing students to opportunities on their doorsteps.
"In past years, students have used the event as a launch pad to get involved in these clubs and sports, which is awesome."
Teams are made up of eight members from either year 9 or 10 and enter one of four categories – mixed premier (four girls/four boys), mixed, girls or boys. And, with entries at only $150 per team (under $20 per person) it is a fair price to give all those sports a go.
Ashmore said he would give schools until July 18, to register a team. More information can be directed to Shelly Christensen via email on email@example.com
- © Fairfax NZ News