Gala a quacker day for en­ter­tain­ment

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Plim­mer­ton School has its ducks in a row for an ac­tion-packed gala this week­end.

The ever-pop­u­lar plas­tic duck race in the school swim­ming pool is set to thrill the crowds again, along­side peren­nial favourites like the pupils’ dec­o­rated mys­tery jars, the dunk­ing ma­chine, an in­flat­able com­mando course and a car to smash with ham­mers.

The school has also hatched new en­ter­tain­ment, like rides in the West­pac res­cue he­li­copter and a ‘‘Wet ‘n’ Wild’’ ride on a grunty mo­tor­bike and a jet ski.

‘‘Our gala is prob­a­bly the one that has the most amuse­ments,’’ says par­ent and gala co-or­gan­iser Robyn Boswell.

‘‘It’s very ex­cit­ing – it’s the first time we’ve had the he­li­copter here.’’

Ms Boswell is pray­ing for fine weather for the week­end for all the out­side ac­tiv­i­ties planned – a beach dig, a spud-gun shoot­ing gallery, jeep rides, and a Toi­let Toss of loo rolls into a dunny.

For the less ad­ven­tur­ous, there will be cakes, books, toys and brica-brac for sale.

A va­ri­ety show will fea­ture the tal­ents of students and staff, as well as the singing voices of mayor Nick Leggett and Mana MP Kris Faafoi, Ms Boswell says.

The school has held its gala for longer than any­body can re­mem­ber, but more than 35 years, she says.

Last year more than 3000 peo­ple vis­ited and the school raised $33,000.

This year the gala will fundraise for a play­ground up­grade and the school’s swim­ming pro­gramme.

Be­ing by the sea­side, Plim­mer­ton School puts lots of ef­fort into teach­ing chil­dren wa­ter safety, Ms Boswell says. The school’s 500-odd kids get up to 10 lessons from swim­ming in­struc­tors in the lead-up to sum­mer.

‘‘ Swim­ming com­pe­tency is a re­ally big fo­cus for the school.

‘‘ Ev­ery child is ei­ther be­ing taught to swim or im­prov­ing their swim­ming skills.’’

Wa­ter will be a huge part of kids’ lives this sum­mer, so safety is para­mount, says par­ent and gala co-or­gan­iser Ju­lia Ham.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of us live around here and if it’s not here it’s on the in­let. Lots of fam­i­lies might have a boat.’’

Quack­ing good fun: Plim­mer­ton School pupil Joshua Bax­ter, 10, is set for a much-an­tic­i­pated plas­tic duck race at this Satur­day’s school gala. Money raised will go to­wards the school’s swim­ming pro­gramme and a play­ground re­vamp.

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