Kokoda Challenge

On Saturday 3 June, in rather warm conditions, 30 students, three staff and seven parents hit the hills of D’Aguilar National Park for the 5th annual 48km Brisbane Kokoda Challenge. The nine teams have been training hard since October 2022, starting with after school walks around North Lakes and progressing to weekend hikes on the Sunshine Coast in late February 2023.

Battling hills, dust, heat, illness, injury and exhaustion, the teams never gave up. When the going got tough everyone dug deep and found another level of strength and determination that they didn’t realise they had, to continue the journey they had started. Unfortunately for some though, illness and injury took its toll and some hikers had to make the extremely brave decision to retire from the Challenge.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon, the teams passed through the Support Crew check point (CP3) at 23km where we were cared for by our supportive team of parents and carers led by Ann-Maree and Chad Patrick and Erin Rosolen. Here we were treated to warm face cloths, home cooked spaghetti, and a very generous amount of love and hugs before being sent on our way for the rest of the day. From this point we were on our own, having to carry all the food and equipment we would need for the rest of the day, as we wouldn’t see the Support Crew again until the finish line 28km away.

As the day wore on, the teams gradually made their way through the hardest section of the track, aiming to reach CP5 at the top of Blacksoil Mountain in the daylight. Six teams accomplished this feat with the final teams deciding to tackle the never-ending hill together by the light of their headlamps. By now TLC Fighters were rapidly approaching the finish line where they crossed as the overall 4th school team after walking for 9h 43m. Congratulations to Addison J, Chris M, Jake B and Krishi K who were led by Mr André Britz. As the evening wore on TLC teams emerged out of the darkness to celebrate their awesome achievements, crossing the finish line to the cheers of our Support Crew and waiting parents and carers. But the most amazing sight of the night was the remaining members of our most valiant teams crossing the finish line at 1:45am after being on their feet for over 18 hours. TLC Squadron – Amber P and Isabelle C led by Mrs Charmaine Clydesdale and TLC Rangers – Grace E and Fin A led by Mr David Peake.

While the Kokoda Challenge gives our students a chance to build strength, resilience and determination through the magic of outdoor activity, it is also the major fundraiser for the Kokoda Youth Foundation. This year TLCKT have raised $7682 so far, with one family alone raising a massive $1400!! But there is still one Challenge to go with two teams tackling the ultimate Challenge in July, the Gold Coast 96Km Kokoda Challenge. These teams are still fundraising until the end of June - if you would like to donate please click here and search for 'The Lakes College Pinnacle' team. Here’s hoping we can reach the impressive total of $8500.

A huge THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts needs to be given to our Team Leaders and Support Crew who volunteered their time to be part of TLCKT and without who, we could not run this Challenge. But the biggest of THANK YOUs must go to the Support Crew members Ann-Maree & Chad Patrick and Victoria Andrews who arrived at 6am and did not leave until the last teams crossed the finish line at 1:45am, ensuring that the final teams were greeted with as much enthusiasm as every other team on the day. ❤

I’d also like to acknowledge and thank our Kokoda sponsors as their generous donations clothed, fed and watered the members of TLCKT during training and on Challenge Day:

Although there is still one final Challenge left to tackle in 2023, thoughts have turned to 2024 with staff, students, parents and carers already lining up to nominate to be part of one of the best sporting teams at TLC!!

Happy Hiking!

Karen Ball | Kokoda Challenge Coordinator




TLC Warriors

Mrs Karen Ball

Jordon W

Kartik K

Jake S

TLC Wanderers

Mr Tom Sellers & Mr Tony Dell

Hayden D

Stevie T

Isaac C

TLC Fighters

Mr Andre Britz

Jake B

Chris M

Addison J

Krishi K

TLC Trekkers

Mrs Elly Thompson

Ben T

Dhruv G

Aiden J

Mitchell K

TLC Squadron

Mrs Charmaine Clydesdale

Isabelle C

Anna G

Amber P

TLC Soldiers

Mr Geoff Elliott

Gema P

Peter K

Xav C

Jamie T

TLC Striders

Mrs Alison Dell

Bella D

Charlotte D

TLC Rangers

Mr David Peake

Chloe P

Grace E

Fin A

TLC Ramblers

Mr Paul Gibson

Levi P

Phoebe L

Zoelle H