Police officers were chasing Whanganui youth around Jubilee Stadium yesterday although no arrests were made.

The purpose of the pursuit was to encourage intermediate age children competing in the Blue Light Physical Competency Test (PCT) Challenge.

The PCT is the same fitness tests that police recruits must pass when they join the force and again every two years thereafter.

Sergeant Craig Yorston said armed offenders officers are required to pass the test every year.

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Teams of four pupils from 13 schools in the Whanganui region competed for the chance to go to Wellington and compete in the national contest.

"It's a good opportunity to show the kids that we are people and not just uniforms," said Mr Yorston.
Blue Light activities which include life skills camps, sporting and social activities are a way for police to give back to their communities.

The course involves a number of physical challenges that police officers face in their duties like pushing a trailer, climbing through a window, scaling a chain fence, climbing under low hurdles and dragging the equivalent of 75kg body weight with a number of agility runs and sprints in between.

The winning team of two boys and two girls were from Kai Iwi with Hunterville second and St George's third.

A team made up of Paris Munro from Whanganui Intermediate, Tineisha McDougall from Hunterville School, Riki Wainhouse from St Anne's School and Heath McKenzie from Kai Iwi School will be heading to Wellington on November 25 to compete in the final at the police college.

Riki Wainhouse was fastest boy completing the course in 2.00.82 minutes and Paris Munro was fastest girl at finishing in 2.04.73 minutes.

An 18-year-old male police recruit is expected to complete the course in 2:04 minutes and a female of the same age in 2:32 minutes.

There will also be a Blue Light tournament at Castlecliff Golf Course on Sunday November 30 and Mr Yorston said there is around $6000 worth of prizes donated by Whanganui businesses up for grabs.