Teams plan to walk all night in Kokoda Challenge

Jack Holaj, Sean Collins, Lachlan Lewer, Zane Hall and their team mates have a long walk ahead of them during the Kokoda Challenge.
Jack Holaj, Sean Collins, Lachlan Lewer, Zane Hall and their team mates have a long walk ahead of them during the Kokoda Challenge. Renee McKeown

SANDGATE District State High School students have pledged to walk all night long if that is what it takes to finish the Kokoda Challenge that starts on Saturday, July 15.

The 48km School Kokoda Challenge from Numinbah Valley to Nerang Velodrome is expected to take the four Sandgate teams about 14 hours to complete.

Already the 15 students have raised $2000 for the Kokoda Youth Foundation and will race against other schools to be first over the line to win the perpetual Jim Stillman Cup.

Jack Holaj said he did the challenge last year so decided to give it a crack again and looks forward to crossing the line with his team.

"It's about courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice,” he said.

"We have to carry the basics, just in case we get stuck out there.”

Sean Collins said last year was really tough, they walked until 2am in the rain and want to beat that time this year.

"It was a good way to test our will,” he said.

"We felt accomplished.

"The last two hours were the hardest.”

Teacher Daniel Gavin will be accompanying the team and said they all have put in a lot of training hours.

"Mt Coot-tha has been our main training area and we're already been to Mt Flinders, Cunninghams Gap, Mt Coolum and Springbrook,” he said.

"We started doing 10kms and we've built it up to 30kms during our last walk.

"I only got involved because my Year 8s from last year asked me to do it and each team needed a team mentor.

"There's already kids asking to do it next year.”

There are 2500 participants from Melbourne to Townsville who will be heading to the Gold Coast hinterland for the challenge.

To find out more about the Kokoda Challenge or donate visit

Topics:  hiking kokoda challenge sandgate sandgate district state high school sandgate high students teachers trekking

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