My name is Kirsten, I am a competitive swimmer and recently competed at the Tokyo Olympics. I am also working towards a Bachelor of Sport Management. A tiny but very determined 15-year-old me applied for the Pinnacle Programme because it sounded exciting and something that could bring all my interests together to help guide me into a career path that complimented my skills. Pinnacle has been there with me from my young teenage years through to adulthood. The last 8 years have been the best years of my life. The confidence I gained from Spirit of Adventure, the perspective I gained from Outward Bound and the clarity I got from Kai Waho have all made me who I am today and I am very grateful.
Spirit of Adventure was the first stage of Pinnacle. It was the first time I'd spent 10 days away from my family. On the Spirit, we were encouraged to help each other and this brought out leadership qualities in all of us. I believe this played a part in me stepping up to become deputy head girl at school. I also realised the satisfaction of seeing others achieve their goals, was just as rewarding as achieving my own.
Outward Bound changed my perspective of life. It made some goals much clearer and I realised that “there is so much more in you than you know” which has helped in my journey to the Olympics.
Kai Waho was an opportunity to be able to stop, take a step back, and feel as though I could see my own life from an outside view. With the help of Tom and the team, I was able to reflect, appreciate the people and the environment around me, and set a clear path to achieve my goals.
The support from Hyundai, the Pinnacle team, and fellow students hasn’t gone unnoticed and I will always be grateful of the support and lifelong friends I have made through the process.