We are so incredibly proud of our nineteen Grade 7 boys, all talented runners, who completed the Maputaland Challenge... what a tough challenge it is! 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!
Pursuing challenges is vital in a boys' life, especially in the years that he is making the transition from boyhood into manhood. Why?
- The benefit of the challenge comes less from the outcome and more from the striving: the effort expended in the pursuit of a big goal are the real value.
- Facing challenges results in a sense of greater strength, virtue and deep satisfaction.
- Challenges provide an opportunity to prove manhood, which boys need to do over and over.
We encourage our boys to purposefully challenge themselves, because without challenges boys don't know what they are capable of. As Paddy Collins said after the event: "The boys rose to the challenge and discovered that they could achieve more than they believed they could."
For a boy to become all he is capable of being, he has to take on challenges that he is not sure he is capable of achieving. That is a scary thing because there is always a very real risk of failure but the benefits of taking this risk are that it creates an opportunity for him to become all he can be... and this is our greatest wish for each of our Highbury boys. "It was life changing," explained Tyler Gray, one of the Grade 7 participants, "It was exhausting at times but I felt very proud of myself for completing such a hard task." Kate Cole-Bowen, parent of James Rabie, mentioned, "My son returned with a sense of self belief and achievement coupled with the realization that he can achieve if he pushes himself."
Fun and friendship were also a big part of the adventure. "Banter and hilarious interjections marked each minute of this wonderful adventure," 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 exhilaration of running was certainly a highlight."
While this event was hugely beneficial to each boy who participated, the ultimate motivation was to fundraise for Highbury's two adopted rhinos, Tai and Baleka. Contributing to the welfare and conservation of two rhinos has been one of Highbury's priorities for the past eight years and the boys each fundraised independently and gathered an outstanding R75 000 together! A cheque will be handed over to Mark Gerrard, from Wildlands Conservation Trust, on 20 October.
We are incredibly thankful for 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, as well as everyone who sponsored the boys.