Teachers and students at a local school collectively raced each other up more than a thousand steps to raise money for a worthy cause.

Many from the Rotorua Lakes High School community spent their Friday lunchtime running up sets of stairs to support local firefighters preparing to do the Auckland Sky Tower Challenge.

Head girl Maggie Donovan, 17, said they wanted to support the firefighters in effort to raise money for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

The proceeds from the school's challenge will go towards the local firefighters' fundraising effort.


Surrounded by a crowd, a student team raced against a teacher team, and collectively they did they equivalent amount of steps as the firefighters do at the Sky Tower.

Maggie said they all wore an item of firefighting gear for the school event, which was organised by the Student Forum.

She said it was really cool seeing everyone come and support the challenge. A bucket was run around so people could pop coins in.

Lake Okareka Rural Fire Force firefighter Stu Lyall said he thought it was great to support something which affected so many people in New Zealand.

He said it was nice to have the support from Rotorua Lakes High School, not only for them but for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand too.

"It looks like they've had a blast. I've been laughing watching it, that's for sure."

Mr Lyall said he was looking forward to going to Auckland to do the Sky Tower Challenge, his third time doing it.

"I think it's a great cause. That's my motivation."