Thriv­ing kayak­ers seek more space

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

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.

KRIS DANDO

It’s a tight squeeze in Mana Kayak Rac­ing Club’s room at the Porirua Row­ing Club at Onepoto.

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