Row­ers take to the wa­ter for youth

South Waikato News - - NEWS/OPINION -

The ara­puni dam dash is set to draw in over 500 com­peti­tors from around New Zealand to com­pete in the 15km and 30km races down the mighty Waikato river to raise fund for Nga Hau e Wha Whanau Hoe – a group ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for dis­ad­van­taged youth.

Pres­i­dent of the club, Damian Sut­ton, is ex­cited about the fundraiser which hits the wa­ter on Oc­to­ber 14 at Ara­puni’s Jones Land­ing.

‘‘We need to pro­vide pos­i­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties to our youth for them to suc­ceed, there are too many op­por­tu­ni­ties for them to fail as it is.”

Mr Sut­ton has been pad­dling for 12 years, and has coached for eight years.

‘‘I have coached in Whakatane and Ro­torua with high school- aged chil­dren. It has kept kids out of trou­ble and do­ing some­thing pos­i­tive.’’

This event will con­sist of kayaks, ca­noes, stand-up pad­dlers and outrig­gers bat­tling it out for supremacy.

The event is in its first year and the group is try­ing to raise the other $4000 to pur­chase a six-man waka ama af­ter the Lion Foun­da­tion do­nated $10,000.

Nga Hau e Wha Whanau Hoe is ex­cited about bring­ing waka ama to the south Waikato community.

Mr Sut­ton said they have re­ceived great sup­port for the re­gatta and do­nat­ing.

The club orig­i­nally set up to help youth at risk with al­co­hol, sui­cide, be­havioural and drug is­sues reach their po­ten­tial and be­come fu­ture lead­ers in their community.

‘‘The rea­son for the day is our youth and the club has of­fered and open op­por­tu­nity for any youth groups and ser­vice providers to come done and set up stalls for free to show the community what there is on of­fer in South Waikato for the youth.’’ Mr Sut­ton said.

There will also be a craft and food stalls on the day.

If any one want­ing to vol­un­teer on the day or be part of the craft mar­ket or youth op­tions call pres­i­dent Damian Sut­ton on 021 060 7833.

ROW­ING TO SUC­CESS: Nga Hau e Wha Whanau Hoe are hold­ing a Waka Ama re­gatta at Jones’ Land­ing in Ara­puni on Oc­to­ber 14 to raise funds for dis­ad­van­taged youth.

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