Porirua stu­dents learn about wa­ter safety

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

More than 300 stu­dents from the Porirua basin learnt how to be safe on the wa­ter in a re­cent course run by Welling­ton Ocean Sports.

The pro­gramme re­ceived $20,000 in fund­ing from Trust House, which was for­merly Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion.

Welling­ton Ocean Sports of­fer a com­pre­hen­sive schools safe boat­ing pro­gramme that in­cludes var­i­ous Coast­guard Boat­ing Ed­u­ca­tion and Yacht­ing New Zealand NCEA ac­cred­ited courses.

Ocean Sports man­ager Matt Wood said the course had proved to be a huge suc­cess, unashamedly tar­get­ing lower so­cio-eco­nomic stu­dents.

Schools tak­ing part in­cluded Porirua Col­lege, Russell School, Tawa Col­lege, Bishop Viard Col­lege and Mana Col­lege.

Wood said it was the New Zealand way to want to get out on the wa­ter and give things a go, but the prob­lem was that once out on the sea, things could go wrong, with dire con­se­quences.

‘‘We gave heaps of kids an ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing on the wa­ter, learn­ing about how to be safe out there,’’ he said.

‘‘Learn­ing to swim and surf life­sav­ing are bril­liant and de­serve to be funded, but boat­ing also needs to be a part of wa­ter safety.

‘‘Boat­ing is ac­ces­si­ble and easy to be in­volved in, so ed­u­ca­tion is very im­por­tant.’’

Wood said Ocean Sports would reap­ply for fund­ing to run the course again as soon as pos­si­ble.

Earn­ing NCEA cred­its was prov­ing a car­rot to take part, he said.

Each safe boat­ing ses­sion lasts about two hours.

Feli­cia Pe­taia and Te Whero Wer­ahiko im­prove their ocean safety skills.

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