Crossing Paths with the Black Ferns

The Bishop Viard College U15 Girls Rugby Team competed in this week’s Hurricanes Tournament organized by Wellington Rugby. Teams from Hastings, Ngāti Porou and the Wellington region competed in the two-day event. The BVC team was supported by Challenge 2000 Nicole Simson (Youth Worker), Coach Jesse Gerard (Youth Worker) and many students that came out to show their support.

The girls had come together as a team only several weeks ago with very different levels of experiences. After a rough start on Monday the girls were able to find their rhythm and confidence, showing up with a positive attitude on Tuesday. With amazing focus and team spirit the girls were able to come away with a hard fought for win against Naenae College, 15-10.

To top things off, the girls had the opportunity to meet with two Black Ferns and snapped a few pics to remember this awesome surprise meet-and-greet.

One of the players, Ocean, was awarded the MVP title for the team. Go BVC!


The team roughing it out.     


Posing with the Black Ferns’ Trophy.


The BSV team with coach Jesse (back row, middle) and supporters from Challenge 2000.

Youth Houses – BIG DAY OUT

Over the weekend, all the Youth Houses got together – a day for fun in the sun, and food to be shared. The day was filled with team sports in the morning, lunch and then more sports in the afternoon. Teams were made up and given a specific colour to wear.

Throughout the day there was a range of games where teams (young and old) played against each other… In the hope to be the winning colour thinking was strategic!
Teams brought their spirit, fairness, fun, laughter and at times, chose to be competitive!!! It certainly was a fun day!
Thanks to all those who organised it and for Junior for the being the ref!!

Naenae College Tabloid Sports Day

Challenge 2000 attended the Naenae College Tabloid sports day last week. The Hutt put on a hot sunny day – great for sports!!

Our staff got involved with the sports and helping out in true Challenge style – especially on the BBQ!!An exhilarating, fun day was had by all staff, students and volunteers – aching muscles a testament to this!!!!

Fun in the sun snorkelling

Challenge 2000 went snorkelling with St Anne’s School in Newtown. Without Challenge 2000’s support, the trip would not have gone ahead. Unfortunately most families are unable to give up their time due to work commitments so Challenge 2000 was happy to assist where needed.  The staff and Gap students who helped out had great fun, were awesome adult supervisors, encouragers and “guardians” of the children.

It was great to help make a difference and allow these children to get opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t normally get.

And Wellington produced a magnificent day for snorkelling!

Challenge 2000 in Kaikoura

Challenge 2000, Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman, Presbyterian Church and Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington – Kaikoura Partnership

As a response to the Kaikoura/Marlborough earthquakes, the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington provided an invitation and funding for Challenge 2000 to work on a project in partnership with Kaikoura based youth agencies Te Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman and the Council/Presbyterian Church to support local young people during the holidays.

8 Challenge 2000 staff and youth leaders have designed a programme for the week of 16th January 2017 – 21st January 2017 after consultation with locals.  The team led by Steve O’Connor and Viv Campbell are really excited about this opportunity to support other youth workers and young people and to share and gain knowledge, skills and understanding with those affected by the ongoing stress of the recent earthquakes.

January 20th 2017 UPDATE

Our youth team are absolutely loving being down on the mainland.

More than 60 children & young people have attended the programme every day and have participated 150%. Our youth workers are inspired by the hospitality, friendliness and commitment of the locals they are working with. What an amazing community!

Watch this space for more news about Kaikoura and our future partnership with these wonderful people.



Orongorongo Valley Tramping

The Challenge 2000 school holiday festivities have begun!

For the first adventure of the holidays, two Challenge 2000 staff members and eight young women cautiously agreed to brave the Rimutaka Forest Park on an overnight tramping expedition, which was for most, their first experience of this kind.

With of our basic survival needs on our backs, we set afoot on a three-hour journey ahead. We learned about our native surroundings. We ate Supple-Jack vine and Kawakawa leaves along the way (rest assured, this was as well as apples and muesli bars) and learned about basic survival skills for being out in the bush.

Our bags were heavy and the girls became tiresome, so arriving at Turere Lodge in the afternoon was an exciting affair. Propped up on the riverbank with a majestic view up the river valley, we were feeling rewarded after a hard slog. The girls settled in and we made the place home for the night.

The girls led the way through an interesting team building activity in the evening trying to thread each member of our crew through a spider’s web (see photos). This helped each member of the group realize the way they function as a part of a team and ultimately brought the group closer together.

At 8.00pm a Search and Rescue Helicopter landed practically in our own back yard (not for us… whew!) to rescue some Boy Scouts who had lost their way up the river. Thankfully, the boys were all safe and unharmed. This was an added bonus for our group who reveled in the excitement of it all once we were sure that everybody was okay.

We then shared a candlelit dinner and reflected on the excitement and struggles of the day before we tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags to rest up before the big walk out the next day.

Until the next adventure…

Girls Leadership Camp

A group of College female students were selected to attend a Leadership Camp. The purpose of this camp was to provide a positive, fun and developmental experience for our young people.  Upon reflection, it was so much more than that.

Much to the surprise, delight and apprehension of the group, we arrived at Taupo Pack and Pedal to pick up our bikes to begin out mountain biking adventure. We had a slow start as the girls got comfortable with their new set of wheels. Even slower still as the rain set in and a cold southerly swept over the lake challenging us to give up. Three hours later, the entire team had mountain biked their way up a muddy bush track to Huka Falls. Almost everyone fell of their bike at least once along the way, alas, no injury to report and all involved were happily taking selfies to document their great achievement.

There was even more surprise and some delight, accompanied by sheer terror of what was to come when the girls learned that we were going rafting down the Tongariro River. A storm the previous day meant the normally Grade 3 river, had swollen to a Grade 4 and was filled with fallen trees that required some serious navigation. This required quick thinking and solid teamwork. We made it out alive, albeit one hour longer than the the journey usually takes. Regardless, the girls were left feeling empowered about our great feat.

The girls had carefully crafted a playlist at Challenge 2000’s community house before we embarked on our journey three days before. The whole way home, the team was singing along to the likes of Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey and Drake to celebrate new experiences, new friendships and massive personal growth.
Until the next adventure…………

Wainuiomata High School Under 15 Rugby team

One of our Senior Youth Workers, Oke, another youth worker, Junior and two of our Gaps students – Jared and Dylan have been working with this team.  The young men have gone from strength to strength and have had some great wins!! They have grown in their attitude, commitment, skill levels and as a team of brothers.
A big thank you to the Four Winds Foundation for their generous donation that has enabled us to purchase training tops and rugby balls for the team.
What a season – congratulations to the players, supporters, family, coaches and the College.

Children’s Day – Te Ra O Te Tamariki – Celebrating our Children

On Sunday 28th February, Challenge 2000 celebrated an early Children’s Day.  Children of all ages were entertained with a bouncy castle, face painting, bead/jewellery making, a tug-of-war, sack races, paper plane making and shared food, drink and fruit.  Smiles were ear to ear and laughter was heard all around.  One of the best things of the whole day was the presence of twenty five volunteer youth leaders who organised all the activities and made sure that the young ones had a great time.  A great day for children and their families!!

“The soul is healed by being with children.” Dostoyevsky

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see” – J F Kennedy


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Kia mau i a ratou te ihi

They hold the delight of life

Kia mau i a ratou te wehi

They hold the awe of life

Kia mau i a ratou te wana

They hold the love of life

The greatest thing we can do is love them and spend time with them.


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Mana Athletics Day

Mana College held it’s annual athletics day at the Titahi Bay Athletics Club in Kura Park.  Four members of our “Youth Workers in Secondary Schools” (YWiSS) team helped with the running of the day by supporting staff with events such as high jump, long jump, time keeping or being a year group marshal.  Website 1 Website 3

All in all, it was a great day with some healthy competition and in-house rivalry, which featured a staff relay that included some of our team.  Fair to say there were some seriously competitive teachers on the track!!!

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