Young people prove to be an inspiration


The more you get the chance to work with local youth the more you realise what great young people we have in Clutha.

Even with all the pressure of modern life so many are just getting on with things, and actually they would leave our generation in the dust.

Recently we have been consulting over in West Otago and, time and again, teenagers have been engaging in community plan sessions and positively contributing their perspective of what would make their community more vibrant and appealing.

It’s the old story: ask a boomer what a young person wants and more often than not we get it wrong. But listen to what they have to say and you realise the world’s moved on and, if you want a project that not only gets excitement and support, but also genuine pride and ownership, then it’s time to listen.

No project of recent times epitomises the magnificence of our young more than the South Otago Downhill Bike development. It was only about six months ago that Connor Bond and Jak Buckingham presented their inspiring concept to transform a manky hill of gorse and broom into a downhill bike park.

These two young guys are only 12 and 13 years old yet not only did they have the vision and foresight to create the proposal, they, along with their friends, are now fronting up and putting in the hard yards to make their dream a reality.

I decided to go for a bit of a waddle around the hill, not sure what I was going to find and could not believe the amount of work that’s already taken place. What was arather marginal piece of wasteland that runs down from the Balclutha Golf Club to Mount Cooee has come alive, and the potential isobvious with one of the four proposed downhill trails already complete. And, while it may not be for the faint hearted, this is already an exciting addition to our district’s list of must›do facilities for our young, and young at heart.

The determination to create something special has now galvanised a large team of dedicated helpers of all ages into action and I suspect with a fair amount of sweat and toil they are well on the way to producing a facility we can all be proud of.

Thursday night at 6pm seems to be the focus for working bees — if anyone is inspired enough to lend a hand, please give Jean or Chris from council a call.

And to everyone involved I am in absolute awe of what you have already achieved and the no› nonsense, can›do attitude is a credit to you all.