By Mick Jensen
A group of Year 10 Ashburton College students are off on a sailing adventure that will help build and develop confidence, leadership skills and team work.
The 10 students were chosen from 45 applicants at the end of last year and will travel to Auckland tomorrow for the start of the experience.
A five-day sailing trip with students from three other schools will follow on Saturday.
The four schools on board the Spirit of New Zealand ship will compete in a number of tasks for the Spirit Trophy.
Ashburton College head of junior school, Carolyn Clough, said the sailing experience offered a number of nautical, physical and mental challenges that were based around teamwork.
The Ashburton College contingent had been chosen for their range of experience and skills, she said.
Some were sporty, others were involved with music and drama and some were more academic.
“The great thing about this experience is that everyone in the group will have an input and given the chance to shine,” said Mrs Clough, who enjoyed a 10-day trip on The Spirit of Adventure when she was a teenager.
The Ashburton College group has been mentored by Year 12 students Matthew Clough and Britney Moore, who did this same voyage when they were in Year 10.
Over the last year team members have bonded strongly and been involved in a number of fundraising initiatives to meet the $1130 per person cost of the sailing trip.
Students are currently selling Christmas hams and have held raffles, sold chocolate, run sausage sizzles, catered at events and hosted a family portrait event to fund the experience.
Participant Oliver Davidson said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead, building his leadership skills and also testing himself.
Fellow participant Poppy Kilworth said she relished being taken out of her comfort zone and was excited to be involved.
Support from local businesses Moore Architecture, Regular Rubbish Removals and Martin Bennett Hydraulics has funded team t-shirts and hoodies.