A Muddy Great Day Out in 2017

Sunday, 18 June, 2017

Today at Motukarara, the 2017 UC Education Mud Run inspired 940 students and 50 teachers representing 34 schools, in a day of muddy motivation and good simple fun.

Top finishing teams came from St Thomas of Canterbury College (men’s), St Margaret’s College (women’s) and West Melton School (mixed).

2017 UC Education Mud Run - Event Information

2017 UC Education Mud Run - Team Photos

2017 UC Education Mud Run - Photos

Adobe Acrobat Document2017 UC Education Mud Run Results
Adobe Acrobat Document, 35.2 KB

“It’s an event that students and teachers alike look forward to every year,” says Sport Canterbury Chief Executive Julyan Falloon. “In particular we see a tremendous response from young women – who embrace the chance to set a wintertime goal, get a team together and enjoy a sense of achievement.

“There’s a huge social element and sense of fun – which is exactly what we hope young people will associate with physical activity and sport.”

When the UC Education Mud Run was first conceived in 2011, the event was a perfect fit for post-quake Christchurch.

Countless young people were affected by the sudden and dramatic change to their sporting landscape – with facilities lost and clubs presented with the ultimate challenge.

From the start, Sport Canterbury had a vision for the unique secondary schools event at Motukarara.

“The event helped reach out to those students who may not participate in traditional sporting codes,” says Falloon. “By creating a realistic, achievable challenge – paired with a fun, supportive environment – we encouraged students to set a goal, get active and have a go.

“The response was beyond our expectations.”

Six years later, thanks to a continuing partnership with UC Education, the event has become one of New Zealand’s most highly anticipated events for secondary school students.

“We were lucky enough to find a loyal sponsor to share our vision, and watch this event grow from year to year.”

As premier sponsor, UC Education has enjoyed watching the event increase participation by over 400% since its beginnings.

As Falloon points out, the event is highly anticipated by a much wider group of students than those who traditionally have cared about being active. It takes ideas about goal setting and fitness training and makes them appealing to students who previously may not have been motivated.

From the beginning, Darfield High School has been on board – 100%.

“Darfield is one of our greatest supporters,” says Sport Canterbury Event Coordinator Isaac Sutherland. “Their principal is known for being a keen participant himself!”

Darfield High School Sports Coordinator Karen Armstrong says there are many reasons the event has inspired their students year after year.

Students who may not be sure they walk 5km, now look forward to the challenge and feel confident taking part even though they aren’t running or racing.

“Our Year 11 Physical Education class has been encouraged to compete as part of their course,” says Armstrong. “Plus this year, the Year 7 and 8 students are getting involved.”

She attributes the ongoing success to the event’s appeal to such a wide group of students.

“Some of the kids can’t run five kilometres continuously,” says Armstrong – and with the UC Education Mud Run, that’s not an issue. “We would have to say it’s more the non-traditional sportspeople competing….there definitely are some students who wouldn’t normally participate in a sporting event.”

In 2017, Darfield’s participation numbers top 200, with a mix of Kiwi, Japanese, French and German students – plus, once again, the principal himself.

“Everybody that has ever done the UC Education Mud Run has thoroughly enjoyed it.”


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