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New Snowsports Scholarship For Wanaka Kids

Children from a Wanaka school now have easier access to their annual snow sports programme thanks to a new scholarship fund.

Holy Family Catholic School Wanaka (HFS) have confirmed the establishment of a scholarship to help ensure none of their 225 pupils will miss out on the annual five week snow sports outdoor programme.

HFS principal Jo McKay said “It is more than just spending the day up the mountain having fun learning to ski or snowboard - it is a fully integrated curriculum that becomes the focus of teaching and learning during five weeks of Term 3.”

In previous years the programme has been threatened by the financial burden it can place on some families. In response, the Board of Trustees created the Snow Sports Scholarship Fund. Steph Drabble, HFS Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairperson said “At its core, HFS values family and we are 100% committed to a full school programme, where every child can participate.”

A sub-committee runs and promotes the initiative, securing monies from local snow industry business sponsorship, service clubs, grants and tax deductible donations with the school administrator managing a separate bank account for the fund.

This scholarship fund runs alongside the generous support of Cardrona Alpine Resort, who provide a number of free spaces to students each year as part of their ‘Ride Tamariki’ programme. The HFS BOT also provides a bus subsidy with further assistance coming from the Friends Of The School initiatives.

Southern Lakes Heliski have been confirmed as the principal sponsor with Tyreland Wanaka, Summit Collective, Racers Edge and Lions Wanaka also committing their support for the scholarship.

Jonathan Wallis from Southern Lakes Heliski said “it is an honour to be able to assist children from HFS to access the mountains and snow sports via the Southern Lakes Heliski Snow Sports Scholarship. We are privileged to live in a place where these activities are on our doorstep and believe that as many local children as possible should be able to take full advantage of these incredible opportunities.”

Other businesses and organisations who would like to support the fund are encouraged to contact sub-committee member, Alice Lovelock (, 027 321 9510) for more information.

The school website page outlines the scholarship programme here:

Holy Family School Wanaka is a full primary (from New Entrants to Year 8) state integrated school with a Special Catholic Character. Deep learning and innovative educational experiences are part of the school’s vision.

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