A programme to give students adventurous opportunities and challenging first hand experiences was launched at Havelock North Intermediate last night by director, author, and amputee William Pike.

The intermediate will join nearly 60 other schools embarking on the William Pike Challenge Award, which gives students a chance to take part in a range of outdoor activities, engaging in community service and personal development.

They will be participating in six outdoor activities, 20 hours of community service and personally develop a new sport or hobby in order to gain the award. The experiences will give students opportunities and challenging experiences to develop life skills, knowledge and awareness of their community.

Mr Pike knows firsthand the value of being prepared for facing obstacles - he suffered life threatening injuries and had his right leg amputated below the knee after being caught in a volcanic eruption on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu in 2007. He said he was really excited to be working with the students from Havelock North Intermediate. "The WPCA encourages Kiwi kids to embrace new challenges, enjoy the great outdoors, engage with their community, interact with positive role models. These opportunities will further connect these young people with local people and places within their community, to grow and develop them as individuals, and to prepare them for whatever life throws at them."