Knock down fails to im­pede at­tain­ment

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

San­ket Balia suf­fered ter­ri­ble in­juries when struck by a car last year but his first thoughts in his hospi­tal bed were of the cru­cial time away from his stud­ies at Mana Col­lege.

He went on to be one of the school’s top schol­ars for 2012, earn­ing NCEA Level 1 with ei­ther merit or ex­cel­lence in ev­ery sub­ject – an im­pres­sive feat given the bru­tal in­ter­rup­tion to his exam prepa­ra­tions on Au­gust 24.

San­ket was hit by a car while cross­ing Ti­tahi Bay Rd.

‘‘I was go­ing from home into the city cen­tre to pay a bill. I had no time to re­act, it hap­pened so fast but I think my leather jacket cush­ioned my fall. I feel very lucky.’’

He suf­fered head and stom­ach in­juries, a bro­ken leg, spent four days in hospi­tal and four weeks out of school re­cu­per­at­ing.

But San­ket did not stay idle, with teach­ers ei­ther per­son­ally drop­ping off or email­ing him school­work so he could stay on top of his sub­jects.

‘‘I was think­ing I would fall back but I really wanted to get up and get go­ing. The school was really good, keep­ing me up­dated and they mo­ti­vated me, say­ing ev­ery­thing would be all right.’’

San­ket’s fam­ily set­tled in New Zealand from Fiji late in 2011. He says he took the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend school here with both hands.

Even af­ter a ‘‘lazy’’ sum­mer, San­ket is savour­ing the chance to hit the books again, now in year 12.

Mana Col­lege prin­ci­pal Mike Web­ster said San­ket is ‘‘a mar­vel­lous young guy’’, thoughts echoed by his busi­ness stud­ies teacher Bruce Ben­nett.

‘‘His achieve­ments are amaz­ing. Even through the ob­sta­cles that were put in his path last year, he had such a high level of mo­ti­va­tion and he’s very able. A fan­tas­tic stu­dent with a bright fu­ture.’’

Come­back kid: Mana Col­lege’s San­ket Balia over­came sig­nif­i­cant in­juries to achieve ex­cel­lent NCEA Level 1 re­sults in 2012 and is look­ing for­ward to earn­ing Level 2 this year.

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