Group to in­spire Tai­hape teens

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - TAIHAPE - ALIS­TER BROWNE

There’s some in­spi­ra­tion headed the way of Tai­hape’s teens next Mon­day at a youth fes­ti­val to be held at Tai­hape Area School.

The first of its kind for Tai­hape, the fes­ti­val is be­ing fa­cil­i­tated by Ran­gitı¯kei Dis­trict Coun­cil; with the aid of a grant from ‘‘com­mu­nity ac­tion on al­co­hol part­ner­ship’’ for youth ac­tiv­i­ties through a health pro­mo­tion agency.

The coun­cil’s south­ern youth de­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor Gil­lian Bowler said the fes­ti­val was about ‘‘in­spir­ing and mo­ti­vat­ing’’ young peo­ple.

Pre­vi­ous such events had been held in the south­ern Ran­gitı¯kei but this year the de­ci­sion was made to hold a fes­ti­val in the north­ern part of the dis­trict, she said.

Bowler said it was hoped to at­tract up to 100 year 9 to 13 stu­dents from the three main high schools in the re­gion plus ‘‘one or two’’ from fur­ther afield, and also home-schooled chil­dren.

There will be four main speak­ers at the fes­ti­val, dubbed Min­tas, as well as work­shops and ques­tion and an­swer ses­sions.

‘‘We want to bring young peo­ple to­gether in a cool sort of way,’’ said Bowler.

The quar­tet who are slated to in­spire them in­clude Tai­hape Ro­tar­ian Michael An­drews who, ac­cord­ing to fes­ti­val pub­lic­ity, has a story to tell in his 24th year of be­ing ‘‘drug, al­co­hol and smoke-free’’.

‘‘He loves his Tai­hape com­mu­nity and is cur­rently on the O’Tai­hape Health Trust, Tai­hape Civil De­fence Group, Neigh­bour­hood Sup­port Com­mit­tee, a Youth Hutt vol­un­teer and part-time tow truck driver.’’

Then there are two ac­tors, Will Hall and Siob­han Mar­shall.

Hall has starred in West­side and TV series in­clud­ing Noth­ing Triv­ial, Short­land Street and Ed­mund Hil­lary’s story.

‘‘We want to bring young peo­ple to­gether in a cool sort of way.’’ Ran­git¯ıkei Dis­trict Coun­cil's south­ern youth de­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor Gil­lian Bowler

Mar­shall played Pas­calle West in Out­ra­geous For­tune and has also had roles in Short­land Street and kids’ show Amaz­ing Ex­tra­or­di­nary Friends.

She also starred in Sing like a Su­per­star and won the com­pe­ti­tion. Mar­shall ap­peared in Danc­ing with the Stars in 2015, plac­ing third.

The fourth speaker is sched­uled to be Aussie Rhys Wil­liams, who won the Western Aus­tralian of the Year youth award in 2015.

At age 21, Wil­liams started in lo­cal gov­ern­ment as a dis­trict coun­cil­lor for Man­durah and is run­ning for mayor for the sec­ond time af­ter miss­ing out by two votes the first time.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

West­side ac­tor Will Hall will be in Tai­hape for the youth fes­ti­val.

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