Ollie Sowman might be 12-years-old but he's already been singled out as a future leader after he was selected for a Sir Peter Blake Young Leader award last week.
The Havelock North Intermediate sports captain said got a pleasant surprise at a school assembly last Friday when he was named for the award.
"I thought it was going to be another person but then they read my name out so it was pretty cool, it was a pretty cool feeling."
The secret to his success?
"I try everything. I just do a lot of stuff," he said.
Just a glimpse of Ollie's school sweatshirt, adorned with badges of all shapes and sizes, reflects his outgoing commitment to extra curricular activities.
School kapa haka, choir, rugby, cricket, volleyball, and regional teams for touch rugby and cricket were all on the young leader's agenda as he tackled his last year at intermediate.
When reflecting on his achievements Ollie pointed out his honours badge as one of the hardest to achieve; requiring six badges and a whole lot of work.
"It pushes you and gets you out of your comfort zone so you try different things."
The sports leader said he was moving on to Havelock North High School next year and definitely wanted to be a leader and continue playing lots of sport in the future.
Born in Christchurch, he said he moved to Hawke's Bay when he was five-years-old and now lives in Havelock North with his parents Hugh and Nicki, brother Oscar and their cat called Bella.
Ollie said he wanted to be builder like his Poppa was as he often spent school holidays tinkering away on projects with him in Palmerston North.
"He's got a big shed and I go out and build stuff there."
Havelock North Intermediate principal Julia Beaumont said Ollie was selected for the award because he demonstrated leadership in everything he did and was "really something special".
"He is the sort of leader that takes people with him. He's very supportive of others in teams and in class,
"He's generally a really thoughtful child who leads from the front but also from the back because he is an example but he takes people with him; unusual to see in such a young kid I think."
Ollie said he was really happy with the award and even got Thai takeaways for dinner last Friday to celebrate.
"My parents were pretty happy, they already knew. I was on a ski trip and they thought something had happened when the school rang but it didn't; it was just the award."
Each year the Sir Peter Blake Trust offers one award to a year five to eight student at every New Zealand primary and intermediate school during leadership week.
All schools are eligible to participate and identify one student as a fantastic leader with their own leadership style, good communication and great attitude.
For Ollie's leadership efforts he got a medal, a book, a mini rugby ball, a certificate and a Sir Peter Blake Trust badge.