Taupo¯ team scores first place in Police Fear Factor
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.”
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.’