Ben Nanasca’s journey at Youthtown started 27 years ago when he joined the Nelson Street team in 1984 as a camp leader…2,000 kids and 180 camps later and Ben has never looked back.
Ben immigrated to New Zealand from Europe in 1972 after competing at the Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, placing 42 out of 73 competitors in the giant slalom. He was also the first person to represent South East Asia at the Winter Olympics.
After graduating from teacher’s training college in 1983 Ben spent a year teaching at Dilworth School but his love of sport and the great outdoors was the main attraction for making the move across to Youthtown. Over the years Ben has worn a number of different hats at Youthtown including Sports Coach, Camp Leader, Holiday Programme Co-ordinator and After School Programme Co-ordinator. Today, part of delivering the Outdoor Programme involves Ben teaching Youthtown groups to ski at Snowplanet every Thursday night and running adventure camps. “There’s nothing more rewarding than taking a group away on camp and introducing them to the great outdoors,” says Ben.
Ben’s two daughters, now 23 and 18, also attended Youthtown when they were younger. Now, 20 years later, Karen is a member of the Australian Ballet Company based in Melbourne and Alana is in her final year at the Australian Ballet School.