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Year 13 Undergo Training for Gold Excellence

09 September 2015

In order to prepare for the final Adventurous Journey of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, sixteen students from Year 13 were trained over the weekend of August 29 2015 in using mountain bikes and kayaks around Taihu Lake, Suzhou. 

  • Year 13 Duke of Edinburgh
  • Year 13 Duke of Edinburgh
  • Year 13 Duke of Edinburgh
  • Year 13 Duke of Edinburgh
  • Year 13 Duke of Edinburgh Award

Although most of us know how to ride a bicycle, not all know how to control a mountain bike with 21 gears. At the start this was certainly challenging, but soon most worked out how to handle their iron horse. But even for the experienced bikers, travelling in a big group was a novelty and they know now that it can be dangerous too. In addition to this, there was other traffic to contend with too. We finished the first day after seven hours of cycling in which we covered approximately 70 kilometres. The biggest test we had was just before we reached our camp site when rain came pouring down on us so heavily we had to stop cycling and walk on the pavement as we could not see the person in front of us.

An hour later the sun was back on our faces and we started cooking meals we had been very much looking forward to. Soon after that we felt very tired and crawled into our tents to take the rest we needed in order to be fit for the next day. Sunday started with some more cycling and we could already feel the benefit of one days’ training, because the first hour we managed to travel 23 kilometres in an unfamiliar environment with some breaks en route to navigate.

We reached our kayaking site at 11.30 that morning which left us an hour to get used to kayaking on calm flat water. It turned out to be enough time to develop the required skills for this week’s Adventurous Journey Qualifier for the Gold Award or ‘The Real Thing’ as the students like to call it.

I am convinced they will all have an inspiring and challenging time at Qiandaohu lake this week. 

Job Mager Dutch Teacher and International Award Co-ordinator