A group of 25 secondary school students have been put through their paces during the Willie Apiata Youth Programme held at Auckland’s Motu Moana Scout Camp.
2016 is the second year Westpac have facilitated the day-long course for students aged 13 to 16 inspiring them to become leaders in their communities and positive role models for their peers.
Students spend the day with Westpac Ambassador Willie Apiata and are put through a variety of physical and mental challenges by the New Zealand Defence Force and their Youth Development Unit.
Mud runs, archery, team problem-solving exercises and a fitness trail were all part of the day’s activities which aimed to build strength, endurance, and teamwork skills.
The NZDF is highly experienced in running training days of this nature and works with young adults regularly giving them the life skills necessary to find strength and identity.
The Willie Apiata Youth Programme will also be held at the Linton Military Camp in Palmerston North and Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch this month.
Numbers are limited to allow Willie to establish meaningful connections with all students taking part.
Willie Apiata, VC
Willie was born in Mangakino where he was the youngest of four children and was the only boy amongst his siblings.
Upon leaving school, Willie enlisted in the New Zealand Army in the Territorial Force Hauraki Regiment of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.
Willie served as a member of New Zealand's third Battalion Group with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor from July 2000 to April 2001.
When he returned back to New Zealand he became a full-time soldier and went on to join the SAS in 2002.
After becoming a Lance Corporal in 2004, Willie was stationed in Afghanistan and performed the act of bravery that led him in receiving the honourable Victoria Cross.
Throughout his life, Willie Apiata, VC, has set himself challenges.
Not all of these challenges were achieved the first time but Willie is not a person to give up. His ability to stay focussed on a task is remarkable.
Willie is an ordinary person who performed an extraordinary feat and Westpac is extremely proud to assist to help him pass his experiences and knowledge on to young New Zealanders.
He aha te mea nui? Ko koe. What is most important? YOU