While our GB athletes were collecting silverware in Rio, 16 West Buckland students were doing the same in North Wales as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards challenge.
Holly Comer, Yasmin Wafai, Hannah Higgs, John Hancock, Matthew Gentle and Will Haines, all in the sixth form, completed their four-day Gold assessed expedition, during which time they had to endure three days of awful weather before the sun finally appeared on the last day and they were able to summit Snowdon as their final peak.
Their expedition included navigating over 45 miles in rather damp and windy conditions, carrying all their own food and equipment. According to Matthew Gentle, morale remained high throughout. “I enjoyed the challenges of the expedition, making decisions under pressure, as well as the team camaraderie that the Gold DofE Award promotes.”
In addition to the Gold Award team, thirteen of our students, many from the school first and second rugby team, swapped rugby boots for walking boots and completed a Mountain Skills course and completed their Gold practise expedition. Once again, the pupils had to endure gale force winds, lashing rain and, on the final day, scorching hot weather. The students returned from the exhibition to receive their GCSE results, many gaining notable success both out in the pastoral fields and in their academic achievements.
Next year students will have the opportunity to complete their Gold awards in Wales, Dartmoor and the Tatra Mountains in Poland.