New Zealand half-marathon champion Oska Inkster-Baynes preps pupils for ASB Summer Starter
Oska Inkster-Baynes, by his own admission, was not a model student in school.
Now, the 25 year old is the current New Zealand half-marathon champion and won the Auckland Marathon in October.
Inkster-Baynes said it was his mathematics teacher, one who had previously competed in the Commonwealth Games' marathon event, who encouraged him to focus.
"I was loud and obnoxious and he told me that I shouldn't be loud and obnoxious, that I should use some of that good energy by doing something positive," he said.
On Thursday, knowing first-hand the positive impact sport could have on people's lives, he took his message to Te Waka Unua school.
"I was lucky enough I had some pretty awesome role models, one of which was my maths teacher, of all people, [who] dragged me out and said 'You could do something pretty cool if you work hard'. He sort of inspired me into the sport.
"I firmly believe that sport has the power to motivate, inspire and enhance everybody's lifestyle, no matter if you run or play footy or soccer, hockey, netball."
Pupils at the decile two Woolston school were given the opportunity to take part in Sunday's ASB Summer Starter event, representing the bank as "Team Yellow".
The young ambassadors would form a swarm of yellow shirts and sunglasses on the day and were taken through a training exercise by Inkster-Baynes to prepare.
Te Waka Unua principal Janeane Reid said her pupils were "really excited" to be selected and learn they would be taking part under the guidance of Inkster-Baynes.
"[Te Waka Unua has] lots of really sporty, capable kids with lots of strengths and this is a good opportunity for some of them to get out and show some of them off, really."
Reid said it was sometimes difficult for busy families to find the time to do things like getting involved in the ASB Summer Starter with their children.
"I expect for most of these students it'd be the first time they've been involved in something like this.
"I guess it's an event that probably many of our community wouldn't normally engage with, or certainly our students wouldn't have the opportunity to engage with without the support of people like ASB, who are transporting the kids there and have enrolled them."
Inkster-Baynes said he thought it was important people like those in his position helped to provide motivation and show young people the benefits of keeping active.
"We should do all we can, do as much as we can, to get people healthy and living good lifestyles and making good lifestyle choices."
* Register now to enter the 2016 ASB Summer Starter at summerstarter.co.nz