Sports stars inspire

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Former All Black captain Ritchie McCaw surrounded by Fiordland College pupils at the Fiordland Events Centre in Te Anau last week. Photo: Julie Walls

FIORDLAND College Years 7-9 pupils were inspired by a Te Anau visit from the PwC Adventure Racing Team of 36-year-old, two-time Rugby World Cup winning captain Ritchie McCaw, Rugby Players Association chief executive Ron Nicol, Wanaka adventure racer Sarah Fairmaid and Wanaka multisporter and champion kayaker Bob McLachlan.

The special morning assembly was held last week at the Fiordland Events Centre for the sporting heroes to talk about the challenges of training and competing in GODZone and the benefits of sport in general.

The team was on a two-day training camp to explore some of the Fiordland bush ahead of the 2018 race, which will be held in the area.

In addition to the special assembly, the sporting stars also met a select group of 30 Year 10 Fiordland College pupils, who took part in an iSPORT leadership session.

The PwC team will compete in the 500km, 10-day event in support of the iSPORT Foundation set up by McCaw and rugby mates Dan Carter and Ali Williams.

Fiordland College assistant principal Nigel Wilson said the pupils were allowed to invite family members to attend with them, and it was an exceptional opportunity to hear from leading sportspeople.

“The workshop was aimed at this age group and worked extremely well, recognising that everyone has to continually set goals, take action and change habits to be successful,” Mr Wilson said.

“The fact the message was being delivered by adults who the students know are highly successful, made them more aware of the importance of goal-setting and following through,” he said.

In 2016, McCaw’s team completed the race in five days and 56 minutes. It finished 20th out of 61 teams, crossing the line a day and a half behind the winners, Yealands Family Wines.

One hundred teams from around the world will compete at GODZone Chapter 7 from March 1-10. It will be the first time the event will be held over 10 days rather than seven and the multi-disciplinary course will include mountain biking, kayaking, pack rafting, trekking and a ropes section.

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