There’s a new trophy in the Kuranui College cabinet, with a group of intrepid year 10 students excelling on the open seas during the summer and bringing the prestigious Spirit of Adventure Trust Voyage Award to Greytown.
The 10-strong group spent five days living and working aboard the 45-metre training ship, competing against three other schools for the award, having each raised $1,200 to take part.
Fundraising was a major challenge and the students found a number of innovative ways to fund their adventure, from selling raffle tickets outside Fresh Choice to organising a hangi. Local charitable organisations also came to the party, with South Wairarapa Rotary Club contributing $200 to each student and other support coming from Greytown Trust Lands.
The students overcame sea sickness, fatigue and the occasional mishap to win the trophy, which was based around a number of team challenges.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” explained Henry Issacs. “I feel like everyone needs to do it if you get the opportunity, because it’s very good fun and you learn lots.
“Cooperating as a team was something I learnt – being able to work with different people that you wouldn’t normally get along with. Also doing some things you wouldn’t normally do, like sitting on the end of a boat, in fact just trying to live on a boat is pretty crazy.”
Superb teamwork was the key to Kuranui’s success, which was made harder as many in the group didn’t know each other particularly well before the start of the voyage.
“We communicated at all times, when we were doing challenges,” said Francesca Hewison. “We were really positive as a team as well. We just got along with it and got it done.”
“We weren’t too phased about the result,” added Henry. “We were trying to enjoy it – there’s no point in making it ridiculously competitive.”
The group certainly had to dig deep at times during the trip, as Isabella Walker
explains. “My night watch was hard, because I had decided to stay up for three shifts, which was like six hours in one go through the night. Luckily, the day after we flew home, I was just so tired. I’d stayed up for 24 hours.”
The group was accompanied by Kuranui youth worker Matiu Te Maari, whose role was to support the students rather than direct them.
“He was really good because he was relaxed, and he let us do what we wanted to do,” explained Connor Turton. “He was there for us if we needed him and he was really good at supporting us.
“He was also trying to learn things himself. He let us figure out what do to ourselves in the challenges. If he was telling us what to do the whole time I think we wouldn’t have got along as well as we did.”