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Christchurch teens making history in 'mammoth' Coast to Coast challenge

New Zealand's most famous multisport race always brings out some inspirational and incredible stories, and the 38th edition of the Coast to Coast this weekend will be no different.

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The group of nine Linwood College students are part of the biggest field of competitors to date. Source: 1 NEWS

Nine students from Linwood College were given a moving farewell yesterday by their peers as they prepared to embark on their biggest adventure yet – the 243km Coast to Coast.

Coach of the Coast to Coast Rangers, Jessy Moffatt, told 1 NEWS the upcoming challenge is even more impressive given the background of some of those competing.

“Some had never ridden a bike before, some haven't been in a kayak,” Moffatt said.

“But the thing with this group is they have the ability to hurt - I push them in the training and they’ve all risen to the occasion.”

The Rangers is a youth development programme for kids in East Christchurch, which Moffatt says gives them a platform to shine.

“A lot of them are kids that just need opportunities,” she said.

“A lot of these kids have identification issues and are, sort of, teenagers working out who they are and where they belong in society.”

The Rangers have three teams entered this year and have all spent the past six months training.

Fane Ngauamo told 1 NEWS she has been challenged each step of the way.

“There have been times I wanted to give up,” she said.

“The first time I jumped on the bike I was like, ‘oh no’, but they've guided me and supported me so much.”

Fane will be racing alongside fellow Ranger Hamida Ghazizada, who will make history as the first Coast to Coast athlete to compete in a hijab.

“For me to do this was a big step for me but having my friends and amazing people round me, it was just like, ‘Right, I’m going for it,'” she said.

“I’ve always worn [my hijab] - I love it. It’s my religion, my culture. I don’t feel like much Muslim women, Afghan girls, do anything like this and I feel empowered. I feel like a really powerful woman to go and do the challenge.”

The young woman and the young squad are making their peers proud.