Paddle training during the week for the grade 7’s.


Over the next few days, the Grade 7 learners at St Francis College will celebrate their final year with the annual Otter Challenge.

The Otter Challenge is a fun two-day event where the pupils embark on a few mini-adventures in St Francis Bay, including hiking, river paddling, cycling, and camping.

It just so happens that today’s first day of their challenge looks pretty grim on paper weather-wise, with a gale-force easterly forecast for most of today. As we all know, the easterly is an onshore wind, so it blows off the ocean and is thick with salt and moisture. Not the best conditions to hike, or cycle, or camp in tents or braai, for that matter.

Knowing the St Francis College kids and teachers, who are all pretty resolute after the challenges they have endured during lockdown (not to mention their parents), they will finish this without a hitch. They’re a tough bunch of people.

Still, if you see a few young cyclists wobbling along on their bikes or hiking doubled-over in determination into the screaming wind, please give them a cheer of support and give them loads of space on the road, please. There are just a few of them, so it won’t be too much trouble at all.

We were all young once, finishing off junior school and getting ready for high school and that massive old world out there. It can be pretty daunting, but it is also a fantastic stage of life and a crucial step in character development. Entering high school sees the initial realisation of inherent potential as high school academics and sports start taking hold. High school is where champions are made.

So we at St Francis Today would like to wish the St Francis College grade 7’s, their school teachers, and those teachers on the Otter Challenge all the best of luck over the next two days. You’ve got this one!