Summit aims to inspire youth

William Pike on top of Mt Scott. Image: Supplied.

Twenty young explorers from around the country are set to converge on New Zealand’s gateway to Antarctica for the first Young Inspiring Explorers’ Summit.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust, in partnership with the William Pike Challenge, is hosting the summit in Christchurch on the weekend of September 21 and 22.

The year 7-9 students will spend the weekend with the trust and Kiwi explorer William Pike, who lost his leg in the 2007 Mt Ruapehu eruption.

They will be challenged to step outside their comfort zone, camping out overnight, meeting huskies and penguins and learning about the inspiring stories of the great Antarctic explorers, including Scoot and Shackleton and Hillary.

Bay of Plenty student Kahlen Bellas, 12, is just one of 20 selected explorers from around the country who will be attending the Young Inspiring Explorers’ Summit.

The trust’s executive director Nigel Watson says the trust wants to grow and empower the Shackletons and Hillarys of the future – young people who will draw on inspiration from the great Antarctic explorers of the past to drive positive change and instigate new perspectives to meet the challenges of our changing world.

“Underpinning our Inspiring Explorers programme is a commitment from participants to being open-minded and curious about the world we live in, being prepared to step out of their comfort zones, encouraging positive risk taking, and sharing their often life-changing experiences.”

William Pike is excited about the amazing opportunities for Kiwi kids to learn more about the history of Antarctica, its wildlife, science and importance to the world.

He says all young people deserve a future where they succeed in life, no matter what unexpected challenges and obstacles come their way.

“To be prepared for what life throws at us, we need a bank of experiences under our belt, and that’s what the summit is all about,” says William.

The young explorers will document their journey, and share what they learn with their communities when they return home.

At the end of the weekend, the students will become members of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Alumni Programme, which includes Inspiring Explorers like William Pike, Brando Yelavich and many others.

The summit is supported by Christchurch NZ, The Antarctic Office and the International Antarctic Centre.

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