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Pushing the boundaries

FOURTEEN Gisborne-East Coast students from around the Gisborne region pushed themselves to their physical and mental limits at Outward Bound's Tairawhiti course.

The Tairawhiti course is one of 13 courses involving 111 Kiwi schools being held this year at the outdoor education school in Anakiwa.

Two of the Tairawhiti students who attended — Jessikah Fearnley from Gisborne Girls' High School and Te Kahui Kururangi from Gisborne Boys' High School — said they would recommend Outward Bound to everyone.

“For anyone willing to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves emotionally, mentally and physically, Outward Bound is a surreal experience and one I will never forget and will be forever grateful for,” says Jessikah.

“I discovered that there is much more to the world than what meets the eye,” said Te Kahui.

Outward Bound has been running courses to develop youth leadership and personal skills for 59 years.

Since the school's inception in 1962, more than 65,000 New Zealanders have attended courses designed to help them reach their full potential through outdoor adventure.

Outward Bound chief executive Malindi MacLean says most students find the course transformational.

“For the majority of our schools programme students, Outward Bound is three weeks of ‘firsts'.

“They tell us that the course provides a safe, encouraging and stimulating environment in which they can rediscover themselves, examine their priorities and values, and push the boundaries of what they believe they can achieve.”

While at Outward Bound Jessikah discovered she was very adventurous.

“I loved all the outdoor activities on the course and gave everything a go,” she said.

“I like to say fear is just another reason to try harder.

“There were challenging times when we had to do just that like rowing the sailboat because there was no wind.

“It was raining and cold but we pushed through as a team and made it to land . . . slowly I might add.”

The Tairawhiti course would not be possible without the support of donors including the Sunrise Foundation, Pip Duncalf, Helen McMahon and Bernie Wicht, Trust Tairawhiti and the GM Butland Charitable Trust.

“Their generosity enables students to really discover their potential,” Ms MacLean said.

“Recently, a student said they thought that by coming to Outward Bound they would find out ‘what I can do', but instead, at the end of the course wondered ‘what else can I do?'.

“Our students are truly inspirational.”

FOLLOW US: Gisborne students (from left) Jessikah Fearnley and Te Kahui Kururangi recommend without hesitation fellow students from Tairawhiti follow them to the legendary Outward Bound outdoor education school at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. Picture supplied