AgriKidsNZ final

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Three Waitaki Valley School pupils are on their way to their second AgriKidsNZ final. Ria Dennison, Cassidhe Harrop and Sam Slee, all 12, won the Aorangi regional final at Geraldine on Sunday.

Three Waitaki Valley School pupils are on their way to their second AgriKidsNZ final.
Ria Dennison, Cassidhe Harrop and Sam Slee, all 12, won the Aorangi regional final at Geraldine on Sunday. The win qualified the Kurow team to take on rivals from across New Zealand in July.
AgriKidsNZ runs alongside Young Farmer competitions. It involves teams of three children aged 8 to 13 racing to complete a series of rural-based tasks.
The Waitaki Valley year 8 girls were among more than 60 hopefuls who lined up at 9am at Geraldine High School. Their eight modules included naming meat cuts, identifying hazards, changing farm bike tyres and a written test.
There was little separating the teams at the end of the morning’s activities, AgriKidsNZ competitions co-ordinator Isabelle Hobbs said.
In the afternoon, the top seven teams contested the “race-off”. Each had to make its way down a lane filled with challenges such as putting together a dog collar and chain, assembling a sprayer, and finally shooting a hoop to stop the timer.
The Waitaki Valley School girls shot their hoop before the others and will go on to the grand final in Timaru on July 7-9.
“The grand final is a massive step up from regional finals where they battle it out in practical modules, a 60-minute written test and an observation where they have to create/build something from only a model display,” Ms Hobbs said.
However, the team has experience on its side. Last year the same three girlswon the Aorangi regional final in Oamaru, then raised funds by holding sausage sizzles and selling muffins and raffle tickets to help them get to Taupo for the 2015 grand final.
“The girls know what they’re in for, what’s expected of them,” Waitaki Valley School principal Deidre Senior said.
She hoped the proximity of Timaru for the final this year would encourage supporters to go and cheer for them this year.
There would be no need for fundraising initiatives, but the girls’ classmates would again help them school up on the sort of questions they could be asked.
Mrs Senior said she was proud of the girls’ achievements, and loved that they reflected what happened in their community every day.
The girls’ close friendship was important in their ability to assign roles and work collectively towards their goals, she said.
Their rivals in Timaru will include the second- and third-placed teams from the Geraldine event _ Mt Somers School and Geraldine High School respectively.