Chil­dren rar­ing to get into hol­i­days

South Waikato News - - SPORT - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

This hol­i­days will be packed with fun and ex­cite­ment as the YMCA pre­pares to show youth in the com­mu­nity a good time.

The South Waikato YMCA will host up to 60 chil­dren per ac­tiv­ity dur­ing this year’s Easter break­away pro­gramme.

Eight ex­cit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties planned for the Easter break al­ready have 35 youth rar­ing to go.

Youth pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Aroha Riki-Ha­mana said the free pro­gramme will keep chil­dren en­gaged.

‘‘It’s awe­some to keep the kids in a pos­i­tive mind­set,’’ she said.

‘‘The South Waikato YMCA Break­away sport and recre­ational Easter hol­i­day pro­gramme helps build strong kids, strong fam­i­lies and strong com­mu­ni­ties. Break­away of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth aged be­tween 11-17 years from all cul­tures, with all per­sonal con­fi­dence and so­cial lev­els,’’ she said.

The pro­gramme will be held over the two-week hol­i­day pe­riod and en­tails four out-of-town trips and four ac­tiv­i­ties held in Toko­roa.

Chil­dren will travel to Mt Maun­ganui, Taupo, Ro­torua and the Waimarino River.

Riki-Ha­mana was es­pe­cially ex­cited about the Waimarino trip.

‘‘It is the best fun to have on a river,’’ she said.

She said the ac­tiv­ity called ‘‘the The YMCA al­lows the chil­dren to get in touch with na­ture. blob’’, where the chil­dren are bounced off a gi­ant bal­loon and into the river, was the best.

But not only does the pro­gramme of­fer a fun ex­pe­ri­ence, she said it helps build the chil­dren’s char­ac­ters.

‘‘It builds con­fi­dence and helps nur­ture the in­di­vid­ual’s de­vel­op­ment,’’ she said.

The unique ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude the amaz­ing race, beats by Tok at the me­dia hub, pay it for­ward and a sports day with the Man­gakino Break­away pro­gramme.

The chal­leng­ing ac­tiv­i­ties will bring them out of their com­fort zone, she said. ‘‘The chil­dren re­ally en­joy it.’’ As well as paid staff, vol­un­teers are re­cruited to help run the hol­i­day pro­gramme.

Last year’s break­away pro­gramme saw about 22 vol­un­teers in­volved. Riki-Ha­mana said they are thor­oughly checked.

She said the pro­gramme is still run­ning strong af­ter four years de­spite a few ‘‘in­con­sis­ten­cies’’ with chil­dren sign­ing up.

‘‘It has been birthed from a great team, and some [chil­dren] have been with the pro­gramme for years,’’ she said.

Pho­tos: JOSEPH O’SUL­LI­VAN

CON­QUER­ING HEIGHTS: (right) Rock climb­ing al­lows a fear of heights to be con­quered dur­ing the pro­gramme. BUSH AD­VEN­TURE:

BUILD­ING CHAR­AC­TER: Chil­dren are chal­lenged in ac­tiv­i­ties to build their char­ac­ter.

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