Academy pupils shine in contest

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Proud moment .. Members of the South Canterbury YMCA Opihi Services Academy (back, from left) Morgan Hudson (15), Tawhitimatea McIntyre (16) and Tatana Pehi (15), (centre right) Shayna Welch (18) and (front, from left) Akena Frisby (17), Rory Duigan (16) and Derek Budgen (16) won the best drill during a recent trip to Burnham Military Camp. PHOTO: RACHAEL COMER

by Rachael Comer

A group of South Canterbury YMCA pupils is celebrating success.
The Opihi Services Academy returned from a competition at the Burnham Military Camp recently with the title of best drill.
The trophy was handed over to the pupils at a presentation at the YMCA last week.
South Canterbury YMCA academic support and operations co-ordinator Ange Burgess said the annual competition involved service academies from Greymouth, Christchurch and Invercargill.
“There are eight in the class and we go up three or four times a year to the camp to take part in military exercises.”
Mrs Burgess said the pupils had worked hard on their drill and it had been a proud moment to receive the top honour.
“2012 was the last time we won the award.”
Opihi Services Academy pupils Derek Budgen, Shayna Welch, Rory Duigan, Akena Frisby, Tawhitimatea McIntyre, Tatana Pehi and Morgan Hudson agreed the military camp trip had been a positive one.
“It was all about drills and team-building activities,” Akena said.
“It was good to meet others.”
“It was good to gain more confidence and self-discipline,” Tatana said.
The academy offers a programme to prepare young people for careers in the armed forces, police, Fire Service and other public service employment.