Sail­ing to the fu­ture

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Se­nior pupils at Rus­sell School con­quered their in­ner fears in a Ki­wiS­port ocean water sports pro­gramme.

Chil­dren spent two hours keel­boat sail­ing on Welling­ton Har­bour as part of mak­ing the tran­si­tion to in­ter­me­di­ate. Just trav­el­ling into Welling­ton and go­ing out on the water was a new ex­pe­ri­ence for some.

Prin­ci­pal Sose An­nan­dale said the pro­gramme was of im­mense ben­e­fit.

‘‘This is a really spe­cial trip that is re­served for the fi­nal push in the devel­op­ment of our lead­ers.

‘‘From here they go out into the big world of in­ter­me­di­ate and be­yond hopefully to re­turn one day full of pride for their com­mu­nity and the learn­ing jour­ney they be­gan at Rus­sell.

‘‘The chal­lenge of such sports for the chil­dren when they are out of their com­fort zone gives them a huge sense of con­quer­ing their in­ner fear and in turn en­ables the mes­sage that they can do any­thing,’’ she says.

Ms An­nan­dale said Pa­cific chil­dren are over-rep­re­sented in water sport mishaps through drown­ing and poor safety prac­tices on the water.

‘‘So safety mes­sages on the boat such as the pur­pose of the life­jacket are pow­er­ful mes­sages.’’

Ki­wiS­port man­ager Peter Wood­man-Aldridge said the ocean water sports pro­gramme has a sec­ondary aim.

‘‘Be­cause of our lo­ca­tion Sport Welling­ton sees water safety as a life skill. We em­pha­sise any water- based sports pro­vide water safety skills as well as in­struc­tion in the sport. This ties in with our pro­gramme Learn to Swim which has taught water skills to thou­sands of chil­dren through­out the Welling­ton re­gion since 2010.’’

The Rus­sell School pupils were among 924 chil­dren who have sailed, pad­dled or wind­surfed from the Royal Port Ni­chol­son Yacht Club or from Frey­berg Beach.

Through the Ki­wiS­port­funded project, the club will give a two- hour in­tro­duc­tion to ei­ther keel­boat sail­ing, dinghy sail­ing, kayak­ing, waka ama or wind­surf­ing to at least 1250 chil­dren this sum­mer.

Sail­ing away: Rus­sell School chil­dren cast off for their keel­boat sail­ing ad­ven­ture on Welling­ton Har­bour last month.

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