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Fear Factor Chizzy Style takes off at QEII Park

2 December 2005

Fear Factor Chizzy Style takes off at QEII Park

A pilot programme, which challenges potential young school leaders to overcome fears by working with a team to achieve goals, has been adopted at QEII Park after proving highly successful, says Marion Morton, Team Leader Recreation, at the park.

Fear Factor Chizzy Style was the brainchild of Chisnallwood Student Support Counsellor, Graham Henderson, and teacher, Mary Pearson. Both spotted potential leaders at Chisnallwood needing challenges outside the traditional classroom.

In partnership with QEII Park, the school payed for and helped tailor a programme aimed to challenge 10 of its most gifted potential leaders.

"We had some kids who were natural leaders, but exhibited this in negative ways. So we picked them - along with the school's highest achievers - for this course at QEII Park to challenge some of that behaviour," Mr Henderson says.

For one hour, each Thursday, over 10 weeks, these children were pushed by one of QEII Park's most experienced swim tutors to swim, dive, rock-climb, and kayak, to name a few activities. At the end of their course, they had to attend a camp at Takamatua where each person had to make a presentation about what they had achieved during the course.

Ms Morton says that the connection some of the toughest children made with swim tutor Willie Pitama was amazing. "Even when they were crying scared on that diving board, and Willie just about crying with them, he'd still manage to make them dive - with all the other kids cheering and clapping in support. "It's that feeling of co-operation and support that this course aims to instil in its students to take back to their school," she says.

Mr Henderson says those who were already good role models developed skills in dealing with a wider group. It also opened them to other students' backgrounds. Mr Henderson noticed big changes in students who took part - many having overcome overwhelming home situations to even make the classes. That many also showed positive changes in their school behaviour was a major step in the right direction.

"We can't control what happens at home so, for some we may only have planted with them a belief that - given the right situation - they are just as capable of achieving as anyone else at their school, " Mr Henderson says.

Ms Morton says QEII Park is willing to help other schools interested in the programme.


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