Taranaki rogaine competition attracts more than 700 high school students
While some of the 700 students taking part in Taranaki's rogaine competition were there to win, Madison Judkins was there to make friends.
The 15-year-old Hawera High School student said she was not overly competitive and the event, which was held at Lake Mangamahoe on Wednesday night, was more of an excuse to interact with students from other schools.
"I'm just here to have fun and meet new people" she said.
The annual event, run by Orienteering Taranaki and the Taranaki Secondary Schools Sports Association, attracted hundreds of students from schools around Taranaki, organiser Fiona McLaren said.
"For many it is a training exercise. Some Year 12 and 13 students are preparing for a week long event held at the Hillary Centre in the Tongariro National Park, while others are just here for an outdoor experience," she said.
Rogaines were a good way to get students involved in an all weather outdoor sport where anyone can participate across all fitness levels, McLaren said.
The sport of rogaining is similar to orienteering but completed within teams of two to five people. It involves cross country navigation using maps to discover different checkpoints.
The course at Lake Mangamahoe had 42 checkpoints with different point values attached. The students had a two-and-a-half hour time limit to collect as many points as they could and get back to the start, McLaren said.
Inglewood High School's Jack Bishop said he had competed in one other rogaine competition and had such a fun experience he came back for a second year.
However, even with a little past experience his team only had a "basic plan", he said, reading the map.
"It will be a run/walk strategy I think."