Proud students rewarded

by Mike Isle

Hard work and a lot of strenuous energy paid off last month for six special students, between the ages of 14 to 16, from Waitaha School.

Jonty, Jac, MacK, Michael, Alijah and Tehiahia each received The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. 

The award, comprising a certificate and pin, was presented to them by Selwyn mayor, Sam Broughton.

This follows an adventurous and sometimes tortuous hike, which saw the super six, and support staff, trekking 18 kilometres over three days from Taylors Mistake to Boulder Bay, Godley gun emplacement, and Brighton Beach from the pier to Southshore Spit.

Duke of Edinburgh coordinator, Chris Allan from the Joshua Foundation, described the hike as challenging but rewarding.

“The students worked hard supporting and encouraging each other during the three days, proving to all — including themselves — that they are resilient, strong-willed and physically tough,” he said.

He described Waitaha as a wonderful character school and, for him, a personal privilege to be working with their students.

“This award is the culmination of three years of hard but deeply satisfying work that now receives international recognition,” he said.

Tehiahia said he liked meeting the mayor and intends to wear his Duke of Edinburgh pin every day to school. It is the same for Jac who, with obvious pride, also plans to wear his pin every day.