Fianna Scholarship 2018

Te Ata Kopa and Daniel Stevens at Outward Bound thanks to the Fianna Scholarship from St Patricks Day Golf Trust

Te Ata and Daniel at Outward Bound

2018 St Patrick’s Day Golf Classic Charitable Trust Fianna Scholarship recipients

Te Ata Kopa and Daniel Stevens from Vanguard Military School have been chosen as the North Harbour recipients of the 2018 St Patrick’s Day Golf Classic Charitable Trust Fianna Scholarships.

Since 1989, the founding year, the St Patrick’s Day Golf Classic Charitable Trust has applied funds raised at its annual golf tournament (St Patricks Day Charity Golf Classic) to benefit young people and quite often those in need. In 2003 the trustees announced the inception of its Fianna Scholarships. It was decided that each year it would provide scholarships which would enable two young people from the North Harbour region to undertake a three week Mind, Body and Soul course at Outward Bound at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. This course is well known to provide invaluable life skills which the trustees believed would contribute immensely to the personal growth of these youngsters.

The inaugural scholarship winners were announced in 2004. They were Courtney Miller of Westlake Girls High School and Paul Hellyer of Rosmini College. Every year since, two students – most often from the same North Harbour school – have received the scholarship and attended Outward Bound. In 2011, following the Christchurch earthquake, the Fianna Scholarships were awarded to four deserving students from that city.

“We ask the selected school to pick the winners, with our only criteria being that it is unlikely that family circumstances would enable the winners to easily afford the course fees and air fares to Anakiwa,” says St Patrick’s Day Golf Charitable Trust Trustee, James Greenway.

Te Ata Kopa and Daniel Stevens were chosen from Vanguard Military School for 2018. We asked Te Ata and Daniel to provide a short piece of information on themselves...

Te Ata Kopa – I am 16 years old and I attend Vanguard Military School. I started Vanguard in 2017 at year 11 and I love Vanguard because each Staff and Recruit member are all one family. The Staff go to crazy ends just to see you succeed, and the recruits do nothing but support you and encourage you too do your best. At Vanguard you create lifetime friendships and memories which will never be forgotten. Vanguard will forever be my home even after I graduate from here. Prior to leaving Vanguard I am hoping to gain University Entrance and after I graduate from Vanguard I am hoping to go to Auckland University to study LAW and become a lawyer. My other career path I have had in mind is to become a New Zealand Police Officer. I hope to do all my Family, friends and all my Staff members at Vanguard Military School proud.

Daniel Stevens – I like to see myself as a young man who is preparing to take on the world and to look after my country and the people I love. I love challenges and pushing myself to my limits and always thinking positive even at my worst. My character is very strong and my mental and physical side even stronger. I will never give up in anything do and always be determined to be successful. My interests are going to the gun range, kickboxing, muay thai and basketball. I am now entering my third year in Vanguard. I love this school and am at a loss for words as I couldn’t see myself choosing a better pathway in my future. I also love this school because of what it offers me and the great achievements I get out of it. When I leave school my goal is to make the NZDF (New Zealand Defence Force) to be in the Army.

Channel Magazine’s Aidan Bennett – who is also a trustee of the St  Patrick’s Day Golf Classic Charitable Trust – put these questions to Te Ata and Daniel. They completed the course late in 2018.


AIDAN BENNETT: Had you heard about Outward Bound before you had this opportunity?
TE ATA KOPA: No I didn’t know what Outward Bound was before I got this opportunity, and I also did not know what to expect.
DANIEL STEVENS: I had never heard of OutWard Bound before i had the opportunity.


AB: What were you feeling prior to taking on the Outward Bound challenge
TAK: During the early stages of finding out I was going to participate in this course, it was in the back of my head. It wasn’t much of a priority to me because I didn’t know really know much about it. Then later on (two weeks before the course) I had got all my gear ready for this course and it hit me that I was leaving my family and friends for three weeks and would have no immediate contact with them. I was really nervous! Only because of the fact I was worried I would be away from my friends and family and I wouldn’t know how to cope.
DS: I was feeling very excited and loss of words for been able to take part in this course because it would be my first ever time achieving something this big.


AB: In a few sentences please tell us about the Outward Bound course?
TAK: On my Outward Bound course I did multiple activities over the period of 21 days including Kayaking, Tramping (on and off tracks), Sailed the Queen Charlotte Sound, High Ropes, we also did our own solo scheme which basically we got a limited amount of food, a ground sheet, a fly cover, some toilet paper and a bucket (our toilet) that we had to live with for two nights and three days! I also did a bit of service for the community, which was planting and removing trees. On my second to last day of my 21 day course I also completed a 21km half marathon which I managed to complete in one hour and 37 minutes. Every single day no matter if you were at base or away from base, we always did PT! There is also a jetty at Anakiwa which we jumped off every morning after we did PT at base! If we were not on a scheme we were either reflecting about our previous scheme or planning and packing for our next scheme.
DS: On my journey throughout Outward Bound I was able to experience a great amount, such as river kayaking, sailing, tramping, rock climbing and a half marathon, but also to point out all the little activities I experienced such as character building and team bonding etc. etc.


AB: What did you find the most challenging aspect of the Outward Bound Mind Body and Soul course?
TAK: By far the most challenging aspect of my Outward Bound Course was being away from my family and friends for such a long period of time, sometimes I would cry when I thought about my family because I was not used to being apart from them! But what kept me at ease was knowing I had made a whole new family at Outward Bound.
DS: I don’t really admit to a challenge because I like to think it’s all mental and in my past experiences I have grown my mental side. But if I was to say one thing I faced throughout the course I found challenging it would have to be the half marathon at the end of the course. This really showed me how much I can achieve with a never give up attitude.


AB: What did you really love about the course?
TAK: Something I loved about my course was most definitely each and every single one of the schemes I did. They were ALL very challenging but looking back and knowing I managed to complete each scheme is something I will always be proud of. Also something else I love is leaving Outward Bound with a whole new family who managed to help me get through my course and people who will be in my life forever.
DS: I personally loved the whole course because I got to enjoy so my different kinds of things i never saw myself doing.


AB: Has the experience at Outward Bound inspired you in any way?
TAK: The course inspired me to never give up. As many obstacles and challenges life throws at you, there will always be a way to get through these. I faced many challenges on this course but not once did I give up.
DS: This course has inspired me to take the most out of every opportunity you are given because your future self will thank you for it.


AB: Would you encourage others to attend?
TAK: I 100% would encourage as many people as possible to attend! This course is a life changer and it can benefit so many people. I’d even love to sponsor someone else to participate in this course just so they can experience this course themselves.
DS: I would deeply recommend others to go on this course an experience the life changing opportunity, because you would not regret it.