Big hopes for teenagers on skills course

By Jessica McAllen

Airport charity will help 20 Mangere College students to do an outdoor pursuits course.

Participants in the Outdoor Pursuits Centre courses can sharpen their skills through adventures such as caving.
Participants in the Outdoor Pursuits Centre courses can sharpen their skills through adventures such as caving.

South Auckland teenagers are being given the opportunity to hone their leadership and adventuring skills with the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

The OPC is one of the recipients of Auckland Airport's 12 Days of Christmas awards and will receive $10,000.

The money will allow 20 students from Mangere College to participate in an OPC programme about exploration, sensory learning, storytelling and leadership.

A wide range of outdoor challenges and skills will be used to learn how to act as a team, with many of the challenges lasting up to six hours.

The chief executive of the Sir Edmund Hillary centre, Graham Seatter, says the programme benefits not only the students but also the community.

"It enhances, in particular, the group's leadership within the school and filters down to every year group."

The OPC works with low-decile schools to secure funding from charities.

"Without such financial assistance, most of these students would otherwise not have the chance to enjoy an OPC educational experience," says Mr Seatter.

The head of physical education and health at Mangere College, Nikki Johnson, says the students would normally not be able to access such a leadership camp.

"Throughout the week they will experience an environment that will push them out of their comfort zone. This will allow the students to learn more about themselves and develop valuable leadership skills."

Charles Spillane of Auckland Airport says the centre is receiving the grant because of the "wonderful" job it does inspiring the youth of New Zealand to become leaders.

The $120,000 is made up of donations from members of the travelling public and Auckland Airport.

A Herald-Auckland Airport charity project: Auckland Airport is giving away $120,000 to NZ charities as part of its 12 Days of Christmas initiative this year. The Herald is profiling each of the winning charities

- NZ Herald

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