Sunday, 17 May 2015

National Young Leader's Day 2015

I imagined heart racing thoughts as I sat among a crowd of over 1200 Otago and Southland students my age in the Dunedin Town Hall, listening to William Pyke. I had been tired on the bus trip from Oamaru with my fellow St Josephs year eight students, who were about to learn how to be good leaders. But as soon as I stepped out of the bus I was awake. Soon I would hear speeches from adventurers William Pike and Steve Gurney. I would also hear from clothing and accessories designer Tasmin Cooper, Chris Jupp a forty-hour famine helper and organiser and Jamie McDell a singer and songwritter. I would also hear from year twelve and thirteen students Phinox, Sarah and Sam. So I had many reasons to be excited. This was National Young Leaders Day 2015 and I was about to be a part of it. 
A truely inspirational leader to me was William Pike. William has been on many outdoor adventures with his friend James, but he is well known for his first attempted accent of Mt Ruapehu in 2007. William was terrified as he heard a rumble with which 1.5 million cubic metres of mud cam falling down the mountain side. His best friend James and William were cramped inside a den on the mountain face. Suddenly water flowed in and soon the two men were swimming. Abruptly the floor fell through and the men were no longer swimming but William's legs were stuck in the thick freezing mud. After realising they would need help James stepped up as a leader and left friend to go and search for help. William eventually asleep.
When William woke up he found himself in a hospital bed, minus a leg. His right leg had to be amputated just above the knee to stop the spread of infection. William was thankful to be alive but he was absolutly shocked when he found out he only had one good leg. After this accident William made up his mind to make the most of his life. He also decided to climb Mt Ruapehu using his steel leg, which he did three years later. William,s motto is "All Passion No Limits". His values are courage, teamwork, resiliance, compassion, pride and enthusiasm. Without these values William couldnt be the inspiring leader he is today.
Hearing William Pike speak reminded me of another adventurer Mark Inglis. Mark Inglis lost both of his legs to frost-bite in an attempt to summit Mt Cook, with his companion. Unfortunaly things didnt go to plan when extreme weather forced them to build and live in a snow cave for two weeks. William and Mark both had time in hospital to decide on what goals they had for the future. Both decided to conquer the mountain they were injured on. Both achieved this goal after much hard work but Mark Inglis went the next step and climbed Mt Everest. Now days both men help others in their own ways. Mark helps the Nepalise people that have lost limbs by bringing unused New Zealand limbs to Nepal and fitting them. William is a motivational speaker, inspiring other people to make the most of life.
Through this great experience I have learnt how leaders are made. They have values, mottos and goals, which made them the leaders they are. This has inspired me to make the most of life and opportunities that come my way.


  1. I loved NYLD!

  2. NYLD was one of the best days of my life.
    NYLD is very awesome!
    is a very good piece of writing Maria!