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Home arrow Events arrow Local Hillary Challenge team supports sandspit
Local Hillary Challenge team supports sandspit PDF Print
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Action - Events
Written by Gloria Bruni   
Thursday, 07 February 2008

Team members Michelle McCabe, Callum Harris, Marcus Grierson, Cory Malcom. Gemma Coutts, Nick Wheaton, Sam Sharp, and Sean Rusk (sitting) with supporters.

Monday morning, 4 February, business not remotely usual! In the Whangarei Mall were the 8 representatives from Girls' and Boys' High Schools for the 2008 Hillary Challenge. Dressed in black with bright yellow arm or head bands, the team were preparing for a 30 km run/bike/kayak by telling anyone they could stop about the threat to the Ngunguru Sandspit. The Sandspit being the cause they'd adopted as the environmental element of their challenge.

Riding the surging energy that would soon make wheels and paddles fly, they worked their way thru the shops and round the mall several times, vying for the best filled collection bucket. At the end of an hour their buckets tipped out $350.00!

Message shared, money gathered, they were off, running together to Glenbervie School. A quick change to bikes and a ride thru mid-day heat and they were into waiting kayaks at Jull's Landing in Kiripaka. Down the Ngunguru river, tide just turning against them, but soon they arrived at Tongatu Rd. in Ngunguru where they stowed their kayaks. And after only three and a half hours a band of runners in black, yellow sweat bands fluttering, ran onto the foreshore in front of Ngunguru School.

Then, as each team member swam back to shore, her karanga welcomed them individually.

Shoes were the first items to come off, followed by any obstacle to a cool swim. They'd reached the Sandspit when Emma Cribb (Te Waiariki) saluted their effort with a call across the water. Then, as each team member swam back to shore, her karanga welcomed them individually. Once on land, she added a big hug, congratulations and warm thanks.

Emma's plates of food quickly disappeared. Another NSaPS supporter arrived with a basket of Samosas, followed by yet another with a hamper of amply filled croissants. Velvety fat apricots were passed around by a supporting parent.

Table talk for this impromptu picnic centered on the Hillary Challenge prelims at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Turangi, less than a fortnight away. Strategies, information to research, skills to hone--all going down with good food. Going down in fact under the gaze of a gallery of admirers, cheering the eating as well as the plans.

February 16 and 17 in Turangi will tell the next installment of this young adventure story. The team has some ambitious plans in mind if they survive that round. NSaPS will be watching with affection and keen interest.


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