You would not typically associate activities such as building a flatpack or decorating a cake with the Olympics.
However, for Alesco Senior College students these activities formed part of an important Olympics-style event, one which helped develop learning, cooperation, teamwork and respect.
The inaugural Alesco Olympics, staged in Nelson Bay on June 26, brought together more than 80 high school students from Alesco Senior College's Hunter campuses.
Students participated in a range of mentally and physically testing activities at the Tomaree campus.
Numerous activity rotations allowed students to be challenged in activities such as obstacle courses, flatpack building, cake decorating, egg toss, Pictionary and three-legged races.
The Alesco Olympics was more than just a competition, but a unique opportunity for team building and developing important life skills in a safe and supportive environment.
The activities also encouraged respect and group collaboration, enabling many students to meet like-minded individuals from other campuses around the region for the first time.
In the lead up to the event, teams from each campus were involved in creating chants, banners and costumes which represented their team.
This encouraged students to respect the ideas of their peers and develop relationships founded on a shared goal.
Alesco head teacher Wendy Ratcliffe said she could not have hoped for a better outcome than seeing students who once felt isolated in the mainstream school setting experience a sense of belonging.
"This event has been five years in the making and seeing the smiles on the everyone's faces today reassured all the teachers that it was a rewarding experience for our students," she said.