Tuesday, 19 May 2015


National Young Leaders Day is a day when lots of students meet and some famous kiwis spoke inspirational speeches. Our class was one of many that got to go to NYLD. We went to NYLD because we are leaders at our school and still learning how to be great leaders. There were 5 inspirational speakers. They were, William Pike, Tamsin Cooper, Steve Gurney, Chris Jupp and Jamie McDell. They told all the young leaders gathered about their goal in life and how they got to be doing what they do today. They all each had at least one strong life lesson or motivating message that they explained to us. The person I found the most inspiring was Steve Gurney I will tell you a bit about him and why I found him inspiring.

Steve won the Coast to Coast a couple of times and then invented a record breaking Pod bike, a kayak with wings and an anti-gravity paddle levitation device. He was poisoned by bat dung while racing in Borneo jungles and nearly died. He then fought back to win the Coast to Coast 7 times more in a row, a record 9 total. Steve was Awarded an MNZM (Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit) gong for services to Endurance sport. He also wrote a bestselling autobiography called Lucky Legs. Steve managed to cross the searing Sahara by wind-power. He now travels the world adventuring and speaking.

I found Steve inspiring because when he was young kid, he was no good at the school athletics and sports. His mother told him that he would never be an athlete. Then, as he got older, he stopped losing. When he entered the coast to coast the first time he thought he could win. He got twenty second. He trained harder. The second time he thought he could win. He came third. So he trained harder. The third time he came second. So he trained harder and came second again. Then he trained differently and finally came first. Steve’s motivating message was that sometimes you win sometimes you learn but you never fail. That is why I was inspired by Steve Gurney. (Also because I am into sports like mountain biking, running and kayaking).

Something all leaders have in common is the ability to carry on even when things seem doubtful and impossible. An example of this is Steve Gurney and William Pike. Steve Gurney when he kept on not meeting his goal of winning the coast to coast, and William Pike when a volcano erupted when he was on a mountain. He almost died on that mountain. As it was he only lost a leg. After that he went back and climbed the mountain again. Steve also had a near death experience, and after that he went straight back into endurance races.

Overall I really enjoyed the amazing journey. I think that NYLD is a really good idea and I like having people talk to us that lots of people know. Its also awesome to be able to ask the speakers a question and to have a booklet to fill out. If I was able to go again next year, I definitely would.