Stu­dents get their skates on for fundraiser

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

A school trip to the land of the ris­ing sun will be paid for in part by a cool fundrais­ing idea - ice skat­ing.

Stu­dents from Queen Char­lotte Col­lege in Pic­ton are head­ing to Ja­pan in Septem­ber and they hope a pop-up ice rink will help pro­vide some cru­cial cash for their dream trip.

Ja­panese teacher David Collins says the 16-day bi­en­nial trip gives stu­dents a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence a dif­fer­ent cul­ture first-hand.

The 14 pupils will stay in the Ya­manashi area, lo­cated in the Chubu re­gion of the main is­land of Hon­shu. The col­lege has a sis­ter school in the area where they will spend a week in class.

Collins used to live near Ya­manashi and is look­ing for­ward to shar­ing his lo­cal knowl­edge with the stu­dents.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic to go back and share with the kids some of the things I know and see it through fresh eyes.

‘‘I still have a lot of con­tacts over there which helps,’’ he says.

The trip is booked for Septem­ber and each stu­dent needs to raise $3500 to cover the costs which will in­clude spend­ing money.

Com­mu­nity group Pic­ton Smart & Con­nected were keen to help and have ar­ranged for a pop-up ice rink to be in­stalled at Lon­don Quay next month.

The group se­cured fund­ing from Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil to pay for the rink and any prof­its will be do­nated to the school.

Collins says the pupils have been work­ing hard to raise money.

‘‘They’ve been earn­ing the money them­selves so it doesn’t feel like it’s just be­ing handed to them on a plate. If they’re pre­pared to spend week­ends wood chop­ping and do the work then there’s no fi­nan­cial bar­rier,’’ he says.

Pic­ton Smart & Con­nected chair­per­son Chrissy Powles­land says she hopes the stu­dents will also see the ice rink as a way to get more in­volved in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘This is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to get youth in­volved in projects they are en­thu­si­as­tic about,’’ she says.

The rink will be open in Pic- ton from June 7-10. En­try is open to all at the cost of $2. Be­gin­ners are wel­come and group lessons will be avail­able.

To book a school group or a party con­tact Nicci Neil­son at info@pic­ton­s­mar­tand­con­

Ja­panese lan­guage stu­dents and teach­ers from Queen Char­lotte Col­lege will be head­ing to Ja­pan later this year.

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