Conquering Tongagriro 20 June 2016
Students from five colleges in the Wellington Region hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing this term as an introduction to a leadership youth development programme with Ignite Sport Trust.
Groups of Year 11 and Year 12 students from Wainuiomata High School, Naenae College, Otaki College, Heretaunga College and Porirua College completed the 19km tramp from February to April, led by Hutt-based Ignite Sport.
“I learnt that I can push myself further than I thought I could,” said one Year 11 Wainuiomata student afterwards.
“If I push myself I keep motivated rather than giving up. By pushing myself I can achieve something to be proud of,” said another student from Otaki College.
Almost 120 students are participating in a Sports Ambassadors or Sports Leaders youth development programme this year. Ignite Sport Coordinator Kevin Goldsbury, says there was a ‘real sense of achievement’ at the end of the trips in the World Heritage site.
“Most students didn’t really know what to expect, doing something like this was completely new to them,” Kevin says.
“Tongariro challenges students and we believe helps change them as they start to become positive influences among their peers and examples to younger students,” he says.
Kevin adds there is something special about standing on top of Mount Tongariro. “You gain a new perspective of the land when you are up high and a new appreciation of your surroundings and the world you live in.
“We all need to take time in our lives to develop experiences that challenge and change our view of the life we live,” he says.
The expeditions are the result of a partnership between Ignite Sport and Taylor Memorial Trust to give young people a taste of leadership in the outdoors. More than 100 senior students, each year for three years, will be able to tramp the Tongariro Crossing and stay at the Taylor Memorial Lodge at Pokaka, near National Park.
Secondary schools with which Ignite Sport work can take up the offer, with the trip woven into the youth development leadership programmes the Trust delivers throughout the Wellington Region.
Students who have participated in a Year 10 programme this year will be challenged to complete the tramp early in 2017.
Ignite Sport bought 20 sets of thermals, gloves and rain jackets to offer students for minimal hire so they all had access to appropriate clothing. “Sometimes these young people do not have the right warm clothing, even a rain jacket, to wear on the trip,” says Kevin.
Anyone willing to contribute to clothing sponsorship should contact Andrea Bolton, email firstname.lastname@example.org