Leaders of the future get inspired

16 Nov 2017

Cam Calkoen was the perfect presenter at the recent College ‘Be Inspired’ leadership afternoon, his whole life a demonstration of how to live the dream - even whilst having Cerebral Palsy.

More than 180 Year 7 students from 20 local schools were invited to College for the 3rd annual leadership progamme, Cam telling them that “if we don’t do things that we’ve never done before, we miss out on discovering who we could become.”

As a Year 7 student himself he grabbed opportunities at school, knowing that there would be few times in life when so much was on offer.

So he did Drama, Duke of Edinburgh award, sailing, golf, cricket, art, and camping while coping with a physical disability which affects ways in which messages travel around the body.

Walking and talking, two of his most difficult hurdles, have become his strengths and the foundation of his international career. Cam has raised $4m for charity, established a youth mentoring programme and become accredited as one of the top 15% of speakers in the world.

The young students at ‘Be Inspired’ were mixed into groups and for three hours were engaged in activities to challenge and extend them. They attended workshops – led by Jared McMahon, president of the Student Volunteer Army, Chris Needle, Attitude (NZ’s largest external health education provider), 24/7 Youthwork, a youth work team operating in Christchurch, and Matt Cortesi, head of Physical Education at College – and they took on board the stories of the presenters and considered how they would apply them to their own lives.

Darrell Thatcher, Director of the Centre for Character and Leadership, said “Be Inspired” fulfilled its aim of sending the Year 7 students away with increased knowledge about leadership and most important of all, confidence in their capacity to embrace it.

Christ’s College presents the Year 7 “Be Inspired” programme free of charge, providing a chance for Christchurch students to visit College and take part in a really exciting afternoon’s programme.