The latest group from Hunterville School has started the 9th year of a sporting programme which brings a whole new dimension to sporting prowess.

The nine rural students, six girls and three boys, will spend a day a week with teacher Shane Smith going out and exploring a world of sporting endeavour.

Mr Smith started his Institute of Sport scheme in 1999 and it has run successfully every two years since.

This year, the nine students were chosen for their fitness, goal setting, food and nutrition, coaching, refereeing and also gives them a chance to try a few new sports.

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Mr Smith said the successful students have been noted from the early days of their schooling.

"We watch all the students and take note of their attitude, sporting ability and general demeanour then make the selection for our Sports Institute group.

"This group costs the students nothing because we raise funds within the school to take them out and about."

The group were in Whanganui last week but because of the rain they couldn't go rowing on the river, try Waka Ama or go to the velodrome, he said

"But we did try the indoor rowing machines and looked around inside the sheds at the Union Boat Club."

They also will be back to have a go at cycling at the Whanganui velodrome, hopefully rowing on the river and working out at the Boys and Girls' Club gym.

A trip to Palmertson North is coming up where the group will play on the indoor tennis courts there and golf is on our programme too, he said.

"These are sports that country kids don't get exposed to and it's great to give them a go."
At Hunterville there are the traditional school sports like rugby, netball and hockey.

"But this programme takes them out of that comfort zone.''

It's the first the girls have outnumbered the boys in the group, he said.

"And these girls are really good."