Together We Learn and Grow

CACTUS is a programme of physical training developed from the Armed Forces programme.


What does CACTUS stand for? 

CACTUS stands for 'Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support'

What is CACTUS about?

The course builds physical and mental conditioning over a 7 week period, develops leadership, team building and personal responsibility. This culminates in an aptly called "Longest Day" which comprises 6-8 hours of physical training, team building and leadership exercises.  The objectives of the CACTUS programme are to assist and support local youth instilling mind and body discipline. With this it will build team cohesion, spirit and an awareness of their ability to achieve beyond their own expectations. It is designed to give youth basic discipline and guidelines outside of the home environment.

Who runs CACTUS?

The Putaruru Police and Bluelight Team will be responsible for co-ordinating and running this programme during the 3rd term at Putaruru College.

How long does CACTUS go for?

CACTUS runs for 7 weeks.  During which there are three, one-hour training sessions per week, of progressively harder physical routines.

Will it cost me anything?

No.  Thanks to the generous support of Trinity Lands, Countdown, The Local Lions, Les O’Leary, Putaruru College and Bluelight, all students selected will be provided, at no cost to them, with a complete breakfast following each session and the sports gear required including shoes. The student is required to launder and take care of their issued uniform items.  At the end of the course the participants will be able to take home and keep the uniform and shoes provided for them.

Is there a requirement for me to do anything?

When the students are selected we will be calling for parent / caregivers of those participants to assist us with preparation and cooking of the breakfast.  The participants will be responsible for setting up and cleaning down of all tables and chairs, including all dishes.

Where and when will it be held?

The sessions will be held predominately at the Putaruru College gymnasium Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On some of the sessions we will be exercising off site.  Start time is 0555 hours. We expect the students to arrive at the school gymnasium prior to this, to be dressed in their training kit and be ready to exercise at 6am SHARP.

What happens on the 'longest day'?

The Longest Day occurs on the last day of the course where the participants will pass physical goals as an individual and as a team member.  Following this, the final event involves coming together of the students where the respective family and whānau are waiting to congratulate them and observe the achievement of completing their course with a graduation supper. NB: There may be a small charge for this graduation supper.

How will CACTUS impact on schooling or other sport commitments?

All sessions, excluding the longest day, are held outside of normal school hours.  The sessions are hard and physical and will leave participants tired.  In saying this, CACTUS will not be an acceptable excuse for being tired at school and not completing their normal school workload.  Should your young person be tired and falling asleep at school then they simply need to go to bed earlier each night in preparation.

We encourage participants to undertake other sporting and cultural activities outside of CACTUS. Where needed, attendance at CACTUS will be excused to allow them to attend bona-fide sport, school and cultural activities where necessary.