Inside knowledge helped crack challenge

Sophie Crewe, 13 from Sacred Heart Girls High School.
Sophie Crewe, 13 from Sacred Heart Girls High School.

Sasha Reid reckons having police officers for parents gave her team the upper hand at yesterday's youth police competency test challenge.

"They gave me tips about how to get over the wire fence. It helped a lot," the 12-year-old said.

Sasha, whose father is a detective and mother a senior constable, was part of a Sacred Heart and Francis Douglas Memorial College combined team, one of about 100, competing in the challenge at New Plymouth's TSB Stadium.

Each team negotiated a course full of challenges, including jumping over hurdles and fences and climbing through windows, with the fastest team being crowned the winner.

The winners, Devon Intermediate team 2, received a trophy and were awarded a $300 sports equipment voucher for their school.

Youth education officer Anna Duncan said there was a fierce rivalry between schools, with some installing walls to practice.

"Inglewood have a wall and there's one at Mangorei as well," she said.

"There's a real rivalry between principals as well."

Duncan said the course was very close to what police officers were required to do.

"It's a little shorter and they have to push a trolley not a trailer," she said.

"They (kids) are pretty fast, some of them are taller than me."

The Devon Intermediate academy team said they scoped out the course and talked tactics before starting.

"You've got to have strategy," Larissa Wilkinson said.

"Yeah you can't just do it, you've got to think about it first," team-mate Harry Bushell added.

The day had encouraged Larissa in her dream of joining the force when she grew up.

"I want to be a detective. I'm really interested and passionate about the law."

FDMC and Sacred Heart combined team 4 placed second in the challenge, while Devon Intermediate team 7 placed third.

Taranaki Daily News