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Community Initiative Turns Queenstown Students Into Marathon Runners

Twenty-nine students and 20 teachers and staff from the school are participating in weekly training sessions, led by Braden Lee of Industrial Fitness, to get in tip-top condition for the world-renowned marathon, which takes place Saturday, November 21.

NZSIR offered each participant a subsidised entry fee to their event of choice out of the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon, Half Marathon or 10km race, and partnered with Trinity Construction, the Wakatipu High School Foundation and Industrial Fitness to provide support to the athletes-in-training throughout the 12-week programme.

NZSIR sponsorship manager Erika Harris says the company wanted to encourage Queenstown’s youth to enter the event and set goals, particularly after a challenging year due to Covid-19.

“All of these students have been working hard over the past few weeks and it’s been very inspiring to see them get fitter, faster and stronger,” she says. “Training for any event requires commitment and dedication and this remarkable group of students and teachers have taken it in their stride. Some of them had never run before and it’s been a pleasure for us to help them kickstart their running journey and achieve their goals.”

Trinity Construction director and Wakatipu High School Foundation chairman Wayne Foley says the initiative was an opportunity to associate the school community with a successful local sporting event.

“The Queenstown Marathon will help raise the profile of our school Foundation as it works to raise both its profile in the community and the funds needed to support the ongoing success of our students and wider school into the future,” he says. “The students have benefited from this initiative directly by having to plan for their training, as well as the obvious health benefits of exercise in one of NZ’s most beautiful landscapes.”

Wakatipu High School deputy principal James Rasmussen says the school’s values of excellence and resilience are at the forefront of the opportunity to participate in the Queenstown Marathon events.

“The students are reaping the benefits of all things associated with getting fitter; improved physical and mental health, and stress relief,” he says. “It’s also good for them to be involved in a group event such as this with existing friends and creating new friends in a fun environment. With all that has happened in 2020, it's great to have a positive initiative such as this to end the school year.”

Braden Lee, owner of Industrial Fitness, says: “As a former pupil of Wakatipu High School, this opportunity was a welcome chance for us as a company to give back. The marathon is a big event for Queenstown and helping Wakatipu High School students train for it has been amazing and something we will continue to support in the future.”

NZSIR’s relationship with Industrial Fitness is long-standing, with the Queenstown gym also running live, online training sessions for NZSIR staff throughout NZ during lockdown.

“Health and wellness are two of our company values,” Harris says. “It was business as usual for us during lockdown and the online workouts were a great opportunity to have a quick catch up and do something fun with our teams across the country. Now, we’re focused on the next challenge of the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon.”

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