Thriving kayakers seek more space
It’s a happy problem for Mana Kayak Racing Club.
The burgeoning club has gratefully shared a space in the Porirua Rowing Club building, on the edge of the Onepoto arm of Porirua Harbour, since 2007.
But its 65 kayaks are crammed in to a single room and a bigger area is needed as the club continues to grow, Mana Kayak Racing Club president Greg Adlam said.
He spoke to a meeting of Porirua City Council in December, asking for permission to expand the rowing club’s building onto reserve land.
He told councillors the relationship with the rowing club was healthy but more space was badly needed for their own members.
‘‘We’re used to fitting 1kg of sugar into a 50g bag, but we need an area that’s fit for our purpose.
‘‘Our 70 members come from as far away as Lyall Bay, Wainuiomata and Otaki, and we have a lot of members from the Titahi Bay and Paekakariki surf lifesaving clubs, and it’s time to move outwards because we have boats on the roof and all around the walls.’’
With council permission, the kayak club would build an addition, between and the building’s size again, out over the grassed area to the east, and take up a few of the car parks as well.
Adlam said his club was not asking the council for money.
If permission to expand is given the green light, then grant funding would be sought for a feasibility study, design and construction costs.
Council chief operating officer Tamsin Evans said there is a process to go through to change the designation of the land and a report will come before councillors, likely in the next few months.
Adlam said after the meeting that ideally a solution would be found by about the end of March.
‘‘We can’t make people do this sport, but for the ones that get up early and are training every day, we have to present an environment that’s right for them.’’
Mana Kayak Racing Club boasts Olympians Marty McDowell and Kayla Imrie among its ranks, along with many other national and international champions.
The next major events club members are well into training for is a regatta in Australia and kayaking nationals, both in February.
It’s a tight squeeze in Mana Kayak Racing Club’s room at the Porirua Rowing Club at Onepoto.