Hi, we are a team of 8 Senior Adventure Racers (4 boys and 4 girls) from Westlake Girls & Boys!
We recently competed at the North Island Hillary Challenge qualifier and placed second out of the 21 teams involved. This placing qualifies us for the Hillary Challenge Final – Nationals!
This event is held in Tongariro and is exclusive to the top 12 secondary school adventure racing teams, and top 96 athletes in the country so we feel extremely excited and privileged to be competing at this event!
In order for us to get there, we really need your help!
Adventure racing at Westlake started six years ago with three students keen on entering a race that included orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking and the most amazing teacher called Mrs. Belcher who willingly agreed to train them. Ever since then Mrs. Belcher has been the driving force behind adventure racing at Westlake which has proved to be massive struggle at times. However, she embraced and continues to stand to the challenge so honourably and has made many students “fall in love with adventure racing” and truly become leaders of tomorrow.
The biggest battle that we have had to face would be the lack of support that we receive from the school in regard to funding, coaches, and training opportunities. Mrs. Belcher has, without fail, continuously fought for this quintessential sport and when she left in July of last year, left so much of an impact on all of us that we had to keep the sport going and flourishing at Westlake in honour of all her efforts.
Adventure racing is a sport like no other that ties together facing adversity with your teammates, the importance of nature, and enjoying everything life throws at you. We have been lucky enough to be invited to attend two senior Hillary Challenge 5-day finals (top 12 teams in NZ and Australia) in Tongariro coached by Mrs. Belcher. Until this year, Westlake had never qualified for the Hillary Challenge finals so this is not only an exciting time for us but also a school record!
We have been training hard for this event and participating in every race that we can get our hands on.
Our ultimate goal for this year is to continue to celebrate our biggest role model and coach, Mrs. Belcher, by gaining a top placing in the Senior Secondary Schools Hillary Challenge Final.
We are committed to being the best team we can be, however, we really need your support!
Our biggest obstacle between us and the final is the price tag that comes with it. We are the only Auckland team who qualified for the final and want to serve as a model school to grow adventure racing in this part of New Zealand.