Twelve secondary school teams from throughout New Zealand descend on the Hillary Outdoors base Great Barrier Island next week for the 2015 National Get2Go Challenge junior adventure racing Grand Final.
The schools come together for the week-long Grand Final having each won one of the 12 one-day regional events held earlier in the year.
Some 1600 Year 9 and 10 students took part in the regional qualifiers and 96 will be in action on Great Barrier Island, in mixed boys and girls teams.
The finalists by region are:
Northland: Whangarei BHS/Whangarei GHS [composite boys and girls team]
Waitakere/North Harbour: Takapuna Grammar School
Waikato: Hillcrest High School
Auckland/Counties Manukau: Botany Downs Secondary College
Taranaki: Francis Douglas Memorial College/Sacred Heart College [composite boys and girl team]
Hawke’s Bay: Taradale High School
Wellington/Wairarapa: Onslow College
Manawatu/Wanganui: Wanganui High School
Bay of Plenty: Trident High School
Canterbury: Cashmere High School
Otago/Southland/Southern Aoraki: Mount Aspiring College
Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough: Waimea College
The Grand Final is a week of outdoor skills based challenges, on both land and water. Sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, navigation, an overnight expedition, problem solving challenges, raft building, survival skills are all part of the action in the final.
Hillary Outdoors Events Manager Darren Ashmore said everything is in place for a great week of competition.
“This is without a doubt the toughest sporting competition for junior secondary school students in New Zealand. All 12 teams have proven that they deserve to be here and this is their chance to see how they go against each other. The team who has prepared the best and performs the strongest as a team will be the one on top of the scoreboard at the end of the five days.
“As individuals the experience will be life changing and they will make some great friends along the way. They will come out the other end more resilient and with a greater sense of their own personal capabilities.”
Whakatane’s Trident High School is the defending champion and their new-look team from last year is looking forward to this year’s final.
“The team has been training hard around the hills of Whakatane and on the local river and harbour,” said team spokesperson Helen Dobbin.
“The Trident team is made up of six year 10 students and two year 9s. This is a completely new team that is going to the island, no repeat students from the team that won from last year. The team looks strong in training but as always the competition will be tough once the event starts.”
“Excitement is brewing with the last few things to organise and then we leave on Saturday to head to Auckland. Just spending the night in downtown Auckland is an exciting venture for the team as many haven’t spent any time in the centre city.”
Wanaka’s Mount Aspiring College is competing in the Grand Final for the first time, after winning the Otago/Southland regional event.
Mount Aspiring College’s Sports Co-ordinator Jacky Toepfer said their team also can’t wait.
“Our team of six year 10 and two year 9 students are very excited. They have spent the past two months fundraising, training and sharpening up their orienteering skills.
“In the past few years, adventure racing and multisport has grown in popularity at Mount Aspiring College. This can be attributed to increased opportunities to take part in local and regional events, some top-class coaches in various disciplines, and a quality outdoor pursuits programme at the school. With hundreds of kilometres of trails and a lake at our doorstep, it's hard not to enjoy the outdoors!
“While this is the first year that Mount Aspiring College has entered a team in Get2Go, the fact that they won the Otago-Southland regional challenge reflects the strength of the team. Most of the team compete regularly in triathlon, athletics, mountain biking and/or orienteering events.
“Teamwork will be a big part of the challenge and the team is confident they can work well together to make the right decisions. The results will depend on many things, but we are confident that the team is as ready as they'll ever be for the event.”
What: Get2Go Challenge National Grand Final
Where: Great Barrier Island (hosted by Hillary Outdoors)
When: Over six days from 6-11 December
Who: Twelve teams of eight mixed years 9 and 10 boys and girls represented school (including two composite single sex finalists)
Qualification: Finalists chosen from winning one of 12 regional qualifying events around the country earlier this year.
Coverage: For more information and regular updates and photos visit the Hillary Follow the series on the Hillary Outdoors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hillaryoutdoors and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/hillaryoutdoors
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