New Picture (7) William Pike with Sutton Park School students

Recently Tindall Foundation Trustee, Rob Tindall, attended the launch of the William Pike Challenge Award (WPCA) at Sutton Park School in Mangare East.

Teacher and adventure enthusiast William Pike, who survived the 2007 volcanic eruption on Mount Ruapehu, established the William Pike Challenge Award to help develop well-rounded and confident Kiwi kids through outdoor experience and connection with their community.

Twenty Sutton Park School students will take part in the challenge, completing two activities a term children including caving, rock climbing, sea kayaking and over night survival skills. Participants will also spend 20 hours taking part in a community service and 20 hours learning a new sport or hobby.

William, who was 23 years old at the time of the eruption, had his legs trapped under rubble and suffered numerous life-threatening injuries. As a result, his right leg was amputated below the knee.

Following extensive rehabilitation and recovery, William’s love of the outdoors and passion for education gave him the motivation to set up the WPCA to give school children new opportunities and experiences and to develop a positive youth culture for the nation.

The award is an outdoor activity based programme run in primary and intermediate schools.  Over 30 schools will be participating in 2014. Students take part in outdoor activities, community service and develop a new sport, hobby or skill. The WPCA is a gateway to new experiences, opportunities and a means of developing a

Here Rob Tindall talks about the launch and the value of the programme for the students.

“It was great to hear William speak about his experience with the eruption and his road to recovery. The students were very interested in his story and especially interested in his new ‘leg’!

“He spoke to a large group of children from Year Five to Eight. The 20 Year Seven children who had been selected to participate in the programme this year all met William afterwards. Many of them had their parents there in the audience too. They were very proud to be introduced to the rest of the group, and it was cool to see the parents coming up to shake William’s hand and to express their pride at their child being a participant.”

The families pay $20 each to participate in the challenge, the rest of the money coming from the school, The Tindall Foundation donation & another local business.

Read the story that was published in the Manukau Courier