West Melton students James, Marshall, Jax, Joe, Brooklyn, Lucas at the Tough Kid Challenge. Photo courtesy of student reporter Liam

Tough kid challenge

by Ann van Engelen

Students from West Melton Primary School joined more than 5,000 primary school children to complete the Tough Kid Challenge obstacle course last week.

“The event was designed to teach resilience after the 2011 earthquakes. It is now the biggest event of its kind in New Zealand. We have got schools coming from all across Canterbury, from as far as Hanmer Springs and Ashburton,” said Sport Canterbury events coordinator Isaac Sutherland.

The course is 2.5 kilometres in length and is designed to teach children to work together. Seventeen obstacles along the way help them learn skills they won’t pick up in the classroom.

“West Melton Primary sent 67 year seven and eight and 125 year five and six students,” said school sports administrator Rita Spadoni.

“They all look forward to the day as a fun activity to do at the end of the year. The children had a fabulous time participating with children from other schools. They get to see how others do the resilience aspect as a team.”

Fire and Emergency Services created a shower for the children to run through to finish the race.

“The day was an exciting learning opportunity for all of the students with some arriving in fancy dress.

“They were able to accomplish the course, which presented different types of physical activity to what they would normally encounter. Some arrived in fancy dress.

“The students climbed a tyre temple, did a forest climb, a mud crawl and water wade, a bubble bath and ended with a slippery slide before going through the fire hose shower as they learned about resilience and looking after each other.”