Students from Katoomba High School are set to compete in the Massive Murray Paddle Marathon this November.
The school team will be raising money for endangered turtle species in the Murray Darling River which have been threatened by low oxygen levels and poor water quality following the Menindee fish kill controversy. The turtles are also under serious threat from the local fox species who destroy their nests and eggs.
Katoomba High School team manager Janice Price said the reason for choosing the turtles was that, "after last year's fish kill disaster, we just wanted to support a species that was struggling in the Murray Darling River".
The team will compete across five days and will traverse more than 400 km of the Murray Darling River in a grueling test of physical endurance.
Its second year in the testing event, the Katoomba high school team will travel to Yarrawonga, a Victorian town on the Murray Darling River, for the race start with more than 160 other people from around Australia and the world.
The race entails hours of paddling and braving the weather which can get pretty hectic, often changing between 30 degree heat, pouring rain and strong winds.
The team of 32, including 16 students, will be hoping to donate around $1500 to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife who have a specialist program for the turtles.
The program is also very rewarding for the students, said Ms Price.
"It doesn't matter what year the students are in they all just get along."
Katoomba High principal Jennifer Boyall has also backed the program.
"I am thrilled our students have the opportunity to participate in such a special event. It is a brilliant opportunity for these kids to learn lifelong skills such as working as part of a team and developing resilience," she said.
Blue Mountains Grammar School also participated in the 2018 event, raising $5000 for junction 142, a charity that provides shelters and services for the homeless.
Katoomba High School is hosting a trivia night on the August 24 to raise money for the event.