Running for rhinos

2016-10-25 06:00
 Photo: supplied The resilient team of Highbury boys finishing their epic adventure.

Photo: supplied The resilient team of Highbury boys finishing their epic adventure.

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CONTRIBUTING to the welfare and conservation of two rhinos has been one of Highbury Preparatory School’s priorities for the past eight years. Paddy Collins, Grade 7 teacher at Highbury, is an active Wildlands’ Rhino Ambassador and through the annual Highbury Maputaland Challenge with the help of 19 Grade 7 boys raised funds for this important cause.

The Grade 7 Highbury boys fundraised independently and participated in this rewarding event during the October school holidays. The boys, in groups of five, endured sandy conditions along back roads parallel to the KwaZulu-Natal coastline and ran a minimum of 30km each in a relay format from Bhanga Nek to Sodwana Bay. The total distance was an impressive 60km. Two of the boys managed to clock over 50km each.

“Banter and hilarious interjections marked each minute of this wonderful adventure. The boys rose to the challenge and discovered that they could achieve more than they believed they could,” explained Collins.

“The intensity of the challenge creates a camaraderie in a new and different way. Appreciating a beautiful part of our country and the joy of running was certainly a highlight. We are incredible thankful to the support of all our sponsors and our parents in particular Sir Fruit, Waterfall Nissan and Herman’s Trucking who donated items and aided in the logistics of the event.”

Kate Cole-Bowen, parent of James, mentioned, “My son returned with a sense of self belief and achievement coupled with the realization that he can achieve if he pushes himself.”

“It was life changing. It was exhausting at times but I felt very proud of myself for completing such a hard task,” explained Tyler Gray, Grade 7 pupil.

The boys were fortunate to experience the beauty of this pristine corner of our province and the physical challenge allowed them the opportunity to achieve a personal goal. A cheque for R75 000 was donated to the Mark Gerrard, from Wildlands Conservation Trust, on 20 October. This generous donation will help ensure the preservation of Highbury’s two adopted rhinos, Tai and Baleka, and highlight the plight of rhinos in Southern Africa. - Supplied.

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