CULLINANE College students will hit the pavement this Monday in a charity relay from Raetihi to Whanganui.

Darryl Daignault is a teacher at Cullinane and says that over four days, students from his school and four others will run along the River Road to raise money for a struggling primary school in the Bay of Plenty.

"They'll spend the night in Ranana, at the marae there. The next day they'll get up and run to Parikino. They're going to go down and cross the river at Kaiwhaiki."

A van following the teams will leapfrog the students to each relay point.


"The kids will run a certain distance, and then another group will take over."
"It's not a race, the whole point of it is to raise some money for a disadvantaged community."

Te Kura Toitu O Te Whaiti Nui a Toi is a primary school in Minginui, Bay of Plenty, a community of roughly 1500 where only one in five adults have full-time work.

"It used to be a forestry town, but with all the forestry changes ... it has gone into a huge decline.

"You've got a village built up around an industry and then that industry left."

Daignault says the money will be used for books and other desperately needed goods.

"We've got kids here who feel they're disadvantaged, and they go into a community like that and they see that they could be considered rich."

The relay has received a lot of support from local business.

"Downers have basically donated their time and energy, they're doing the traffic management and all that sort of stuff. Loaders are opening up the River Road, which is pretty much closed to traffic because of all the flooding."

Cookie Time has donated 160 cookies and 300 One Square Meals for the students beating the feet.

Cullinane College will field 11 students in the relay, St Patrick's College Kilbirnie will bring 10, St Patrick's College Kilbirnie six, Roncalli College eight and Hato Paora College will have six.

The students have been sponsored by friends and family. It is predicted the schools will bring in a total of $15,000.

The students will begin in Raetihi at 9am on Monday and finish at Cullinane School on Thursday.