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Matthew climbs his way to a gold award

By Laura Shipley

A Rathkeale College student literally climbed his way to gold completing his Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Gold Award.

Matthew Furkert, 17, has previously completed bronze and silver awards and said he is the only student at Rathkeale who has finished his gold award this year.

To get the award Matthew had to do a year’s community service which he did at the college library, a year coaching a hockey team and a year of physical recreation which he did as a hockey player in winter and playing tennis in summer.

He also had to do three tramps which had to be four days and three nights long and that’s where the climbing to gold came in as he traversed the Tararua Northern Crossing.

The tramp tested his limits, Matthew said.

“The first day we set off at seven in the morning had a half hour break for lunch and arrived at the hut at seven at night.”

He had to organise all three tramps himself buying food and making sure he had all the equipment needed.

Matthew was inspired to do his gold because his dad Paul had years earlier got his gold.

“Once I started I didn’t want to give up,” he said.

“I met people I wouldn’t normally have met through doing the community service,” he said.

Matthew has some advice for anyone else thinking about doing their gold award.

“Go for it, keep working though it and don’t give up.”.

He will go to Christchurch next month to meet Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and receive his gold award.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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