28 Jul Winter madness features in annual festival

A cold mid-winter’s day didn’t stop Nayland students from celebrating the annual Winter Festival on July 7th, the last day of term two.  

The anticipated event is a favourite on the school’s house calendar.  Students  have the opportunity to gain points for their houses by participating in a range of events.

Like last year, this year’s event featured a quiz and a video games tournament. Things were changed up outside however, as the Mud Run was replaced with the Amazing Race. This was where brave contestants took on a variety of challenges such as submerging themselves in icy water, ‘eating gross things’, singing the national anthem, performing a haka, lugging tyres on the field and braving a water slide.

The ‘eating gross things’ challenge was a hit with students queuing to sample delicacies such as spoons of marmite, powdered cinnamon, cut up raw chillies, raw onion,  and liquid mustard  straight from the  bottle.   

The activity was organised by year 13  Brielle McCarthy.  School counsellor Linda McDougall helped Brielle on the day and had only praise for the highly organised student.  “She was thoughtful, well organised, encouraging and really good fun to be with, ” she said.  

Amazing Race organizer and Head of Aquila House Brennan Geddes was very happy with how the overall event went. He acknowledges the invaluable help from student house leaders and captains, without whom it just wouldn’t have happened. Teachers’ involvement and hard work was also key.

Student leader Andre Castaing was another student who took on a leading organisational role. Speaking just before leaving for London for the International Youth Science Forum, Andre decided to make only minor changes to the successful format for the quiz held last year.

He has some advice on organizing an event of this size. “Lots of people, different jobs, get stuff done,” he said. “It’s about delegation, making sure you check in with people that you’ve delegated to.”

Another group of motivated students (Jason Nicholas, Cameron Mayes, Campbell Suter, Matthew Suter and Taylor Roberts) played lead roles in the creation and running of the video games tournament where participants played Super Smash Bros and Halo. They took care of promotions, technical and general organisational aspects. 

 Media Studies teacher Duncan McKinlay is positive about how the tournament went. “There were a few technical hitches, but once things got going the students had a great time. It was great to be part of an event for the students, by the students.”

The Winter Festival looks set to be on Nayland’s calendar for a long time yet.  

By Sera King