Pupils lap up inspiring message

Inspired. . . The Longford Intermediate pupils who organised a Cancer Society of New Zealand breakfast and online auction fundraiser had the chance to meet William Pike (back row centre) , the founder of the William Pike Challenge. The pupils organised the fundraiser as part of the community service component of the challenge which they are taking part in. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Stepping out of his comfort zone has been the key to achieving his goals, William Pike says.

Mr Pike, who founded the William Pike Challenge, was the guest speaker at a breakfast organised by Longford Intermediate pupils to raise money for the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

The breakfast was held at Gore High School. Gore High pupils and teacher Nadine Robertson cooked the breakfast.

The breakfast and an online auction were part of the pupils’ community service component of the William Pike Challenge programme, which many Longford pupils take part in.

After breakfast was served, Mr Pike described how in 2007 he and a friend, who were school teachers, were spending some of their holidays tramping.

They were sleeping in a hut on Mt Ruapehu when the mountain started erupting.

Mr Pike was trapped by boulders and mud that rained down on the hut, but his friend managed to escape to raise help.

Critically injured, Mr Pike was taken to hospital where his right leg was amputated just below the knee.

In the recovery period he realised he was ‘‘one lucky kid’’ to have survived, but he also had lots of questions.

Those questions included would he ever be able towalk again, would he be able to teach again and would he find a girlfriend?

He really wanted to win the fight to rebuild his life, so he set himself some goals, not knowing if he would achieve them.

‘‘The only way to find out in my opinion is to push aside that fear and doubt and take one step and then another and another.’’

The three goals he set were to walk again, return to classroom teaching and climb back up Mt Ruapehu to the hut where he had been injured.

He made it through having supportive friends and family and by having a sense of purpose.

In reflecting on how he achieved those goals the answer was ‘‘to simply step outside of my comfort zone’’.

Any change people want to make will require them to do that, he said.

Pupil Ashley Lithgow, 12, said she enjoyed listening to Mr Pike.

‘‘He has inspired me to get out of my comfort zone.

‘‘It’s also so good that we have raised so much money for the Cancer Society.

‘‘We have felt really proud to host such a great fundraiser.’’

The pupils raised more than $8000 for the Cancer Society.