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Five-day wilderness showdown for kiwi teens

Youthtown Get2Go 2010 finals begin on Monday!

Five-day wilderness showdown will decide New Zealand’s most adventurous young teens

A hundred gutsy school students will travel to Great Barrier Island next week for the biggest challenge of their lives: competing for the title of New Zealand’s most adventurous young teens.

Twelve teams of Year 9 and 10 students, representing each corner of the country, will pit themselves against nature – and each other – for five days to decide the title of Youthtown Get2Go’s 2010 challenge winner.

“We like to think of it as a mixture of the Amazing Race, Survivor and Treasure Island,” says Darren Ashmore, events manager for the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC), which is organising the challenge, with sponsor Youthtown. The final will be held at the OPC base on remote Great Barrier Island, in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.

“We’ll throw wilderness challenges at these teams for five days. We’ll help these students push themselves to excel in activities they might never have tackled before. And at the end of the week the team that displays the most courage, tenacity and skill will take out this hard-fought-for title.“

Each of the eight-person mixed-gender teams (mostly 14 and 15 year olds) qualified for the final by winning their one-day regional Youthtown Get2Go challenge earlier in the year. They had to tackle a range of fun but testing challenges, including orienteering, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

The students are from Whangarei, Wellington, Horowhenua, North Shore, Waikato, Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, New Plymouth, Christchurch, Fiordland, Nelson and Whakatane. (A complete list of finalist schools follows.)

“For next week’s national final we’ve got a range of outdoors challenges lined up,” says Darren Ashmore. “It’s the country’s premier outdoor adventure title for this age group, so these teenagers take it very seriously. But the best moments come when they overcome not just the competition, but their own perceptions of their limits. And that’s what Youthtown Get2Go is all about.

“All of these students will need to look inside themselves to draw out new and existing strengths in teamwork, leadership, problem solving, physical activity and the outdoors. When they’re putting in their very best efforts you can see it on their faces. That expression of drive and pride is priceless.”

Youthtown Get2Go, now in its fifth year and with Youthtown sponsoring for the first time in 2010, is the junior equivalent to the Genesis Energy Hillary Challenge for senior secondary students.


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