A step ahead for school

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

SPE­CIAL needs stu­dents from Moss­man State High School have reaped the ben­e­fits of an in­no­va­tive fit­ness chal­lenge by out­door staff from Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

More than 20 Coun­cil staff took part in the “Fit­bit Chal­lenge” which used a Fit­bit de­vice that recorded the num­ber of steps and kilo­me­tres they reg­is­tered in their work and home life over a num­ber of months.

Staff were en­cour­aged to get spon­sor­ship from the com­mu­nity to go to­wards their pre­ferred not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which Coun­cil would match with an in-kind do­na­tion.

Judy Cham­ber­lain from the Port Dou­glas De­pot reg­is­tered more than one mil­lion steps over 10 weeks to take out the chal­lenge, with de­pot col­league Eli Pitt hot on her heels and rais­ing the most in spon­sor­ship.

They both chose to do­nate their spon­sor­ship to the spe­cial needs stu­dents at Moss­man State High School.

Eli said the Fit­bit Chal­lenge was mo­ti­va­tion to adopt a healthy life­style at home as well.

“It in­spired me to get fit and I lost 7kg dur­ing the chal­lenge,” Eli said.

“I really wanted to do some­thing for the spe­cial needs stu­dents as I know that ev­ery kid there has a dif­fer­ent way of learn­ing,” he said.

“By cre­at­ing a gar­den, it gives them life ex­pe­ri­ence and it’s some­thing they can see cre­ated from the be­gin­ning and be a part of.”

Coun­cil do­nated plants from the nurs­ery, mulch and as­sis­tance from the Open Spa­ces crew while Ian O’Donoghue sup­plied earth­mov­ing equip­ment and an op­er­a­tor free of charge to help the stu­dents cre­ate an un­der­storey na­tive mi­cro-en­vi­ron­ment un­derneath ex­ist­ing ma­ture palms.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Linda Cardew, who came up with the Fit­bit Chal­lenge idea as a way to in­spire Coun­cil’s out­door teams to ap­pre­ci­ate the amount they do and set goals for a health­ier life­style, was de­lighted with the out­come.

“It was a great out­come for our out­door staff who par­tic­i­pated and the spe­cial needs stu­dents,” Ms Cardew said.

Pic­ture: MADI­SON WIL­LIAMS

Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil­lors at Moss­man State High School with Prin­ci­pal Deb­o­rah Kachel ad­mir­ing the new gar­den

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