by Lisa Bamberger
As a family we joined the Kaukapakapa Scout Group quite a few years ago, and so began our involvement with the Rodney Coast Challenge. The Future Proof Life Rodney Coast Challenge, as it is now known, is a multisport event (literally multiple sports in one event) that traverses the Rodney District from Muriwai Beach in the West to Wenderholm Regional Park in the east.
This iconic FUNdraising event has been run by Kaukaupakapa Scouts for 22 years. But this year was different, this year my daughter competed. I’d like to say this involved lots of good training and preparedness - but she’s a teenager and so on the day I was a little apprehensive about how she would go.
On Sunday 17th November, locals would have seen teams and individual competitors, run through the beautiful Woodhill Forest, saunter on road bikes through sunny Helensville and ride up, up, up through Kaukapakapa to Makarau Scout Camp, from there they leapt onto their mountain bikes to courageously venture up and down the infamous Noakes Hill on their way to picturesque Puhoi, then they race down the river by Kayak to the finish line picnic and prize giving at Wenderholm.
My daughter’s team, “She’ll be right” was made up of brave Scouts with no previous multisport experience but with lots of grit and determination. At the end of her 10km run, Marea, with a huge smile, looking quite shattered, said “That was great! Could I do it again?” With wonder in my voice I asked “Next year?” and she replied with a cheeky smile “Now would be OK” - ahh the wisdom of youth, or was it adrenalin!
They all had the greatest fun, coming in as the 5th youth team and 1st in the School’s Challenge. The first youth team home, with an incredible time of 4 hours and 1 minute, which had them the 8th team home overall, was “Mission Impossible”, more Scouts and Kaipara College youth.
Some competitors living far afield, return each year to use the RCC to train for bigger multisport events, others are ticking something challenging off their bucket list and there were at least four instances of two generations entering the event.
With any sport, attracting new players ensures the future strength of our national competition. This year we had 318 competitors including corporate teams, multiple teams from Orewa and Kaipara Colleges, and our youngest ever competitors were a team of Year 6 kids from St Heliers Primary School - they rocked!
Each stage of the event has its challenges, but overall it is a great introduction to a different sort of team sport. With a fun, family atmosphere ensuring the support crews and spectators have as much fun as the competitors.
We are blessed to have the best sponsorship support team from Rob Howarth, of Future Proof Life, who has been with the event as a sponsor for 19 years. He brings local sporting sponsors Club Physical, Yakima Roof Racks, Star Kayaks, Shoe Science, GMC Cycling together for an awesome array of prizes, including a mountain bike, roof racks, kayak, sports shoes, and gym membership. A big shout out to these guys for their support of our sport.
This is our community at its best, fostering youth development through Scouting, encouraging healthy competition, and family fun.
For more details, this year’s results and great photos see https://www.rcc.org.nz/
So are YOU up for the challenge next year?