Taupo¯ team scores first place in Po­lice Fear Fac­tor

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Rachel Can­ning

St Pa­trick’s Catholic School stu­dents showed they have what it takes to join the po­lice with a shared first place at the 2018 Na­tional PCT Fear Fac­tor com­pe­ti­tion at the Royal New Zealand Po­lice Col­lege in Porirua.

All po­lice of­fi­cers un­dergo phys­i­cal and men­tal tests ev­ery two years, and the phys­i­cal com­pe­tency test (PCT) com­pe­ti­tion was de­vel­oped by New Zealand Blue Light as a fun way for year 7/8 chil­dren to en­gage with po­lice.

A lo­cal chal­lenge was held in Oc­to­ber at the Taupo¯ Events Cen­tre, and Blue Light Taupo¯ or­gan­is­ers Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tash Marinkovich and Sergeant Rob Fos­ter in­vited schools to en­ter teams.

“We had 104 kids com­pete, in teams of four. Taupo¯ In­ter­me­di­ate and the Lake Taupo¯ Chris­tian School en­tered. St Pat’s en­tered three teams and they had done lots of train­ing at school and won the lo­cal chal­lenge,” says Ms Marinkovich.

St Pa­trick’s School teacher An­gela Moeke has her year 7/8 stu­dents run a mile a day and she says they were pretty fit to start with.

“Prior to the com­pe­ti­tion they watched the video on­line and made an ob­sta­cle course that cov­ered sim­i­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, so they knew what they were in for.” Se­nior Con­sta­ble Marinkovich and Sergeant Fos­ter ac­com­pa­nied the four chil­dren to Welling­ton where they stayed at Camp Els­don.

“We gave the kids $60 to spend at the su­per­mar­ket for break­fast and lunch for six of us, and Rob was on a no carb diet.

“On Satur­day morn­ing we went up the ca­ble car and took the kids to the touristy things,” says Ms Marinkovich.

Taupo¯ was in the lead at the end of the first day, fend­ing off stiff com­pe­ti­tion from 16 other teams from around New Zealand. Taupo¯ placed first equal with teams from Tau­ranga and Can­ter­bury.

Ms Marinkovich says they re­ally en­joyed the chal­lenges, from mem­ory tests to bal­anc­ing a bucket of water on your head and hav­ing to tip water from one to an­other.

Hav­ing Rob and Tash as ex­pe­ri­enced coaches was an ad­van­tage, and the chil­dren were good at team­work.

“Be­ing close friends and know­ing each other well was a strength.”

“The com­pe­ti­tion gives them an op­por­tu­nity to see Po­lice Col­lege, with a show of hands on the day in­di­cat­ing that one third would con­sider a ca­reer in the po­lice.”

Photo / Sup­plied

Taupo¯ po­lice of­fi­cers Sergeant Rob Fos­ter and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tash Marinkovich with St Pa­trick’s Catholic School stu­dents Sa­muel Mur­doch, Esme Mor­gan, Shawna Baula and Tami­ano Ahloo. The Taupo¯ stu­dents won the 2018 Na­tional PCT Fear Fac­tor com­pe­ti­tion and say that mak­ing friends from around New Zealand was ‘awe­some.’

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