Here­worth boys take on the snow

Havelock North Village Press - - News - BY BRENDA VOW­DEN brenda.vow­[email protected]

While most pri­mary school chil­dren were tucked up in bed last week, a team of Here­worth School boys were al­ready up and on their way to hit the slopes on Mount Ruapehu.

Schools from around the North Is­land were par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cen­tral Plateau Ski Champs, run each year as a fundraiser by the Hill­top School Ski Team. Here­worth gath­ers a team of keen skiers each year to par­tic­i­pate in the four cat­e­gories of races — Pri­mary (Year 1 -6) boys, Pri­mary girls, In­ter­me­di­ate (Years 7 and 8) boys, and In­ter­me­di­ate girls. Within each cat­e­gory the chil­dren com­pete in an in-zone or out-of-zone sec­tion.

“Nat­u­rally, the races are dom­i­nated by the in-zone schools which are de­fined by those schools that fall within the Cen­tral Plateau foot­print. How­ever, there is al­ways a good con­tin­gent of out-of-zone schools who en­ter small teams of skiers, in­clud­ing Here­worth,” says Here­worth di­rec­tor of sport, Lin­coln Doull.

Lin­coln ac­com­pa­nied the boys up the moun­tain and says this year’s results were par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing, with Year 4 “fear­less” 8-year-old stu­dent Oliver Wilkins win­ning the out-of-zone pri­mary sec­tion, beat­ing boys three years older than him­self.

“A re­mark­able achieve­ment,” Lin­coln says.

In the in­ter­me­di­ate out-of­zone race the Here­worth boys won all three podium places, with Her­bie Coates in first place, Luke Wilkins sec­ond and Will Lowry third. To cap off a day of achieve­ments, Her­bie’s time was the fastest across the in-zone and out-of-zone com­peti­tors.

Or­gan­is­ers be­lieve the event is a way to get chil­dren in­volved in ski­ing from a ju­nior school level and to be able to use the win­ter won­der­land that is on their doorsteps. The cham­pi­onships are de­scribed as a fun, re­laxed day that al­lows chil­dren to rep­re­sent their school with­out the pres­sure of be­ing a pro­fes­sional ski racer.

Over the years, the con­tin­ued sup­port of par­ents and spon­sors has al­lowed the event to flour­ish and helped the con­fi­dence of novice skiers to grow. Ev­ery com­peti­tor re­ceives a cer­tifi­cate to re­ward them for their par­tic­i­pa­tion, with podium place win­ners re­ceiv­ing a medal and tro­phy. The chil­dren get to meet new skiers their age from dif­fer­ent schools, are able to be a lit­tle com­pet­i­tive and have the chance to try out some of their newly ac­quired race skills.

Here­worth School com­peti­tors in the an­nual Cen­tral Plateau Ski Champs race on Mount Ruapehu.

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