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Inner Wheel turns for Outward Bound challenges

Beaming with the benefits of Outward Bound, from left, Makoura College pupil Kyra van Geffen, 16, and Kuranui College’s Puhi Te Whaiti, 19, and Olivia Edwards, 17. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Pre-dawn starts, 3km runs, and a challenging two-day tramp have proved to three Wairarapa pupils that they can accomplish anything.

Makoura College pupil Kyra van Geffen, 16, and Kuranui College’s Olivia Edwards, 17, and Puhi Te Whaiti, 19, were selected to attend Outward Bound – a 21-day course at Anakiwa which aims to build skills and confidence in young New Zealanders.

They were challenged by a variety of different activities including, tramping, high lines, rock climbing, sailing, navigation, and leadership workshops.

Puhi said she learnt to appreciate her surroundings more and enjoyed being disconnected from her phone.

“I loved being on the water, watching the sunsets and stars.

“It’s something you wouldn’t get outside of Outward Bound.”

She was surprised by the support from her South Wairarapa community in Pirinoa.

“I have a lot of people to thank.”

Fellow Kuranui College pupil, Olivia, applied for the trip hoping for a challenge.

“I heard from other people that it was a life-changing experience.”

“I learned I can do anything and to live in the moment.”

Kyra’s older brother had gone through Outward Bound two years earlier and encouraged her to apply.

“I love the outdoors and experiencing new things.”

She said the course was about facing her fears but the trip helped her to realise she could accomplish nearly anything and make lasting friendships.

“I definitely encourage friends and classmates to apply.”

The three courses were paid for in part by Inner Wheel, which organised a silent auction raising $5000.

The girls also did their own fundraising.

They were brought together at a presentation at the White Swan in Greytown on Wednesday, where they thanked Inner Wheel for its support and shared their experiences with club members.

Former president Anne Hayden said the club wanted to create a lasting legacy and it was the first time it had organised such a fundraiser, working closely with Outward Bound representatives.

“The theme for the Inner Wheel year was leaving a lasting legacy, for girls to have an opportunity that would have a lasting legacy on their lives,”
she said.

“I knew that it was a transformative [programme] for young people.”

Initially, the goal had been to get only one Wairarapa girl to the Outward Bound programme but the club had surpassed that “300 per cent”.

“It took a lot of time organising the donations, but the local business community was extremely generous.

“We even had something from the Weta Workshop.”

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