By Todd Muller
Last week I attended the Young Innovators Awards – the pre-eminent local competition for school kids aged nine-18 here in the Bay.
There were more than 300 applications and the winners were astounding. If you ever find yourself reflecting on the challenges of today’s world and its pace of change with any fear, a few minutes with these young kids will right your confidence.
Their self-assurance, sheer smarts – but without losing that quintessential Kiwi humility – is a sight to behold. Congratulations to all the placegetters and in particular the category winners – Sam Sheaff from Mount Maunganui in the Junior section, the Mount Maunganui Intermediate team in the Intermediate section and Lydia Gilmour from Tauranga Girls’ College in the Senior section.
You did yourselves and your parents proud. Well done to all of the teachers supporting the YIA concept. Innovation, science and entrepreneurial spirit must be supported in our schools to ensure our kids are able to absorb the challenges of our fast-changing world and flourish It is in all of our interests that they do.
I’d also like to add my voice to those acknowledging the efforts of Andrew Coker, the retiring head of Priority One. He’s been a tireless advocate for our region.
Andrew is someone who knows the power of a community whose energies are harnessed towards an achievable and well-articulated vision. This region is indebted to you.