New Zealand Skills And Education College’s (NZSE) ATC Terminator Challenge 2023: A Test Of Mental Toughness And Teamwork
Over the more than 15 years, ATC’s (Active Training Core) Terminator Challenge has solidified its reputation as New Zealand's ultimate showcase of mental fortitude, teamwork, and physical endurance. What began as a small event has now grown into one of the largest youth competitions for those entering careers in the NZ Defence Force, Police, and other services. Last Friday, 27 October, more than 150 students from NZSE’s three campuses – Hamilton, New Lynn, and Manukau participated in a full-day programme designed to push their physical, mental, and strategic limits while fostering teamwork.
Geoff Ruaporo, NZSE tutor and event coordinator, who has led the Terminator Challenge since 2014, expressed his excitement about the event moving to Hamilton this year, saying, "It was a privilege to come to Hamilton to have the challenge hosted down here at Lake Karapiro."
From the outset, competitors knew they were in for an exhilarating day, testing their skills across multiple challenges, including Parade and Drill, sandpit, stretcher, and water obstacles, which featured tools such as tires, ropes, and spades. One standout challenge was the Water Station, where students had to run 100 meters into Lake Karapiro and back while carrying 50kg on top of a stretcher. The physical demands were intense, with participants working continuously for over two hours, cheered on by attendees, families and friends.
In the end, Team Manukau emerged as the victors, showcasing outstanding teamwork, resilience, and critical thinking. Geoff remarked, "Hamilton was on their tail, and New Lynn brought their flair, but the overall outright winners were Manukau, and they were deserving of that win."
He continued, "Manukau stuck together as a team, and their camaraderie was evident, from their chants throughout the day. It was inspiring to see them push through mental barriers."
ATC’s Terminator Challenge is a platform that encourages both competitiveness and camaraderie, fostering personal growth among the students during their studies at NZSE.
“This transformation prepares them to become young leaders,” says Wendy Liao, NZSE CEO.
“NZSE organises its annual ATC School of Military Prep Terminator Challenge to help students focus on preparing for and achieving academic and physical training goals. For the students, the Challenge is about pride in being part of a team and completing a series of challenges to the best of their abilities.”
Teams from across three NZSE campuses in West Auckland, South Auckland, and the Waikato compete for awards recognising teamwork, resourcefulness, mental and physical toughness, and endurance.