Award a big surprise for Opihi College head girl

KIM KIRKCALDIE: The Opihi College head girl has won the Trustpower Youth Spirit Community Award.
KIM KIRKCALDIE: The Opihi College head girl has won the Trustpower Youth Spirit Community Award.

A surprise win was an opportunity for Kim Kirkcaldie, of Temuka, to give back to her community.

Kim, 17, head girl at Opihi College, won the Youth Spirit Community Award at the recent 2014 Trustpower Timaru District Community Awards.

She was surprised by the win because when she looked at previous winners she thought she had not done as much as them.

"Mum was super-surprised as well."

Kim won $500 in prize money for herself and $250 to give to a charity of her choice. She chose to give the money to the Temuka RSA - an organisation she had been involved with before. She has attended and performed at Anzac services and RSA events. When she did some research into the organisation, she found out more about what it did and how it helped.

"It's really cool to be able to give something to them."

One student from each school is put forward for the award.

Kim was nominated by her teachers at Opihi College for her involvement in the Temuka community.

"I pour my absolute heart and soul into everything that I do, grabbing every opportunity available, but more than that I create opportunities for myself, school and community because I feel I am forever in debt for everything that has been done for me."

She said she tried to get involved in a range of sporting and cultural activities. Last year, she was a house captain - leading her house to overall victory.

She is part of the ball committee this year and has been on the council for three years.

Kim, a year 13 student, has been involved with the buddy reading scheme with year 7 students, and was a part of the Timaru Sister City trip to Eniwa, Japan, for three weeks of studying and travelling.

She plays basketball, hockey and badminton and has achieved her black belt in taekwondo. She helped her late father teach taekwondo to younger boys at Waihi School.

Although Kim had not had any previous dance experience, she taught a dance class for 4 to 6-year-olds when parents wanted something local, so they wouldn't have to go into Timaru for lessons.

She takes a wide variety of subjects at school and plans to go to university next year. However, she doesn't know what she will be studying.

"I was looking at medicine but I'm interested in everything. It's hard to choose," Kim said.

The Timaru Herald