Prize shock for Kieralee

Happy Chappy . . . Gore High School pupil Kieralee Gilson (17) and tourism teacher Sentain Robertson will travel to Queenstown as part of a Go with Tourism competition prize. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Gore High School pupil Kieralee Gilson has won an experience of a lifetime.

The 17-year-old participated in a national tourism competition hosted by Go with Tourism.

The challenge encouraged pupils to share their favourite thing to do, present their dream tourism business idea and write a short essay about a part of New Zealand which shaped them.

Contestants had to enter all three term challenges and collect good scores to be in the top five for the grand prize.

The winnings include an all-expenses-paid weekend in Queenstown.

Kieralee said she was surprised when she found out she had won.

“I was in disbelief and was shocked. I’ve never won anything before.

“I was at work and I got the email and I ran out to tell my co-workers and they were just so excited for me.”

Some of the activities she could participate in include bungy jumping, ziplining, rafting and indoor skydiving.

Teacher of tourism Sentain Robertson will accompany Kieralee on the trip.

She felt proud of Kieralee, she said.

“She put in a lot of time and effort.

“The other year 12 and year 13 students are also excited for her because it is quite a prestigious prize.”

Programme director of Go with Tourism Matt Stenton said there were more than 100 entries in this year’s competition.

“Kieralee came third overall.”

The main motivation for the contest was to showcase other sectors in the tourism field.

“The goal of the competition is to help young New Zealanders understand more about the wide-ranging careers available in tourism and hospitality and encourage students to consider these sectors when deciding on further education or entry into the workforce.”