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Students bound for leadership push through

Students from eight Wairarapa schools were selected for Outward Bound because of their potential and commitment at school. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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In a first for the region, 14 secondary school students from Wairarapa schools tested themselves mentally and physically on ‘Korowai’, an Outward Bound course designed to help them reach their full potential.

Schools courses have been run at Outward Bound since 2005, with Wairarapa now joining 13 other regions who send students to Anakiwa in Marlborough, where the course is run, each year.

The students, who returned from Outward Bound last week, were from eight Wairarapa schools – Kuranui College, Solway College, Wairarapa College, St Matthew’s Collegiate, Chanel College, Makoura College, Rathkeale College and Ponatahi Christian School.

Each of them was selected for their potential and commitment at school.

St Matthew’s Collegiate year 12 student Elizabeth Cohr said, “pushing herself through” when she felt like giving up was the biggest challenge she faced at Anakiwa.

“We were on a tramping expedition and everything was hurting, and I really didn’t know if I could go on for much longer. But I kept repeating a quote we were given at the start – ‘the mind gives up way before the body’ and I started to cheer up, found strength and completed the tramp.

“It was at that moment I realised I was capable of a lot more than I think I am. There is definitely more in you, and you can pretty much achieve anything you put your mind to.”

Wairarapa College deputy principal Pam Redpath saw “huge value” in the Outward Bound experience.

“I went to Outward Bound myself when I was 17 years old and it had a huge impact on my life, which I still remember vividly today.

“The Korowai course has a fantastic mix of challenging activities and the 21-day duration enables students to be tested in a wide range of ways. They come home inspired with renewed confidence to deal with life’s challenges.”

Outward Bound school director Simon Graney said the schools’ courses were a fantastic way to engage with a group of students from different regions.

“When the students return to their community, they build on the strong relationships created with each other during the course, and they can leverage those skills to bring the Outward Bound vision of “Better People, Better Communities, Better World” to their local area.

“Connecting with the environment, connecting with others, and connecting with themselves enables them to become more resilient, and to be their best selves.”

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