The programme has aims to improve self esteem, confidence and physical fitness, through participating in physical challenges. There is an emphasis on setting and reaching goals, both personally and in teams. “It’s not a boot camp, nobody shouts and roars. Discipline for minor misdemeanours will be handed out in the form of physical exercise and people are free to leave if they want,” Mr Clifford said.
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On the coast the Cactus programme has gained its own momentum and now has a waiting list, as word of the course spreads. “We want to encourage the kids who are not really involved in anything else to come along and have a go. We hope they will move on and join other groups afterwards,” Mr Clifford said.
The course will run for eight weeks, based in the Ashburton Sports Hall, with trainees expected to turn up to each session – Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 3.45 and 4.45pm.
SCC plans to run through the eight-week programme three times during the coming year, with 12 trainees on each course. Toward the end of the year an advanced Cactus course offers the opportunity for 12 trainees to join a five-day expedition.
Application forms are available from the Ashburton Safer Community Council on Havelock Street, or by calling Mr Kampjes on 308-1395.