A chance to take part in sea kayaking, rock climbing, tramping and orienteering is a reality for pupils from Te Uku School as they take part in the William Pike Challenge Award (WPCA) this year.

The WPCA provides intermediate and full primary schools with support, resources and motivation to facilitate education outside of the classroom. The WPCA is an outdoor activity-based programme run over one school year where students participate in 8 outdoor activities, 20 hours of community service and personally develop a new sport or hobby in order to gain the award.

William knows firsthand the value of being prepared for facing obstacles. He was one of two young climbers caught in a volcanic eruption on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, on the evening of 25 September 2007. Pike suffered numerous life threatening injuries, and as a result, his right leg was amputated below the knee, needing extensive recovery and rehabilitation.

By adopting a positive attitude and moving on with the support of his family and friends, William was once again, able to embrace his love of the outdoors and develop the WPCA award, which he now passes on to a new generation of Kiwi kids.

“I’m really excited to be working with students from Te Uku School – the first in their region to participate in the WPCA” says William. This year Te Uku School will be joining 48 schools and 1100 other students participating in the WPCA, giving these students a huge range of opportunities to connect with local people and places in their community.

At the recent Maui Dolphin day year 7 and 8 Te Uku students ran a stall as part of the community service component of the award. The children made fudge and organised competitions for their fundraising stall where the proceeds were put towards saving the endangered Maui Dolphin.

“This is Te Uku School’s first year being involved in the WPCA and we think that the physical and mental challenges that it will offer will provide great life-long learning opportunities for our senior students” says Rachel Allan, principal of Te Uku school.

“We think that William’s personal experiences make him an inspirational and influential role model worthy of being associated with. This should be a fun-filled and successful year of learning for our senior students”.

Rachel Allen