While their classmates have been outside during their school breaks, a group of Whangarei school students have been inside rowing and it's all for charity.

Whangarei Intermediate students and staff will be rowing on machines for 24 hours this month to raise money for the Starship Foundation. The school's sports and environmental co-ordinator, Tom Peyton, said the charity was selected by the students but there is also a staff member who has had to rely on Starship a great deal.

"I'd done it before in a school in England I'd worked at, but with older kids. When we got the rowing machines we put the charts up ... the students started looking at challenges and somebody saw the 24-hour challenge and asked to do that."

Cailee Bowmar, 13, said students had been training twice, or more, per week for an hour since the beginning of term 3. She said not many students had done rowing before.


"I did a camp that we did it at. But not many people had that much experience. It uses so many different muscles, completely different to running. It's very tiring," Cailee said.

Students have had to commit to training during their break times. Cailee said the rowing had not only improved her fitness, but it was also for a good cause.

"We've got faster and our technique is better on the rowing machine and it's for a really good cause. We're doing it for Starship," she said.

Mr Peyton said there were two student teams, about six girls and four boys in each, and a staff team of six. Participants have been asked to raise $30 per person and each person will row for about five to 10 minutes before rotating to the next team member.

Mr Peyton said the students taking part had shown commitment.

"Some have had to make decisions on what to commit to. They have to do training twice a week. There's definitely been some fitness benefits and technique has improved," he said.

Staff from New World Regent and members of the Northland Rugby Union will be heading along during the day to join in and help the students out.

- The 24-hour row challenge will run from 1pm on November 18 to 1pm November 19.