Ella Anderson
Ella Anderson preparing to take the plunge. Photo Supplied

Cromwell College teacher Steve Hodkinson believes that most people do bungy for fun.

However, the year 9 students were given the opportunity to complete a bungy jump in order to practice using positive mental health strategies.

Steve says, “Standing on a little ledge looking down from the Kawarau Bridge, about to jump off with only a bungy cord attached to your ankles can certainly be classed as a stressful moment in anyone’s life.”

Students have been learning about the positive and negative effects of stress on mental health.

Ella Anderson
Ella Anderson preparing to take the plunge. Photo Supplied

They have practiced methods of controlling stress. Box breathing, positive self-talk, mindfulness and goal setting were all taught as strategies to apply in their lives.

AJ Hackett Bungy were keen to become involved in educating students about courage and bravery, so the unit of learning culminated in every student challenging themselves to go as far as they could with a bungy jump. 

Some stood on the ledge looking down over the 40-plus metre jump, some jumped, but each student can be proud of their efforts. Throughout the build-up to the jump, students wore heart-rate monitors to give them awareness of how their bodies were reacting.

Steve says, “Support from classmates was exceptional, with many staff and students acknowledging this positivity as a key part of the experience.

It really highlighted the important role that those around us play when there is stress in our lives.”

AJ Hackett not only gave the jumps for free, but also provided the travel and gave each student a video of their bungy experience with their heart rate synced, and a t-shirt.

The students in turn performed a year group haka as a sign of the gratitude they felt for this experience.

AJ Hackett are keen to continue the relationship and make it an annual event.

Steve is very grateful to Matt Hollyard, AJ Hackett Project Manager, and his team, saying, “With opportunities like this from local business, Cromwell College students are truly being supported by the whole school community.”