Paddle WA had the opportunity to deliver the Move it Aus’ program Paddle Oz up in Kununurra last month. Executive Officer Rosalie Evans and Education Officer Leonie Cockman took a flight up to run a series of paddling lessons and to run some PAQS Flatwater Guide and Instructor qualification courses!
Earlier this term secondary classes had the exciting opportunity to participate in Paddle Australia’s national participation program ‘Paddle Oz’. The program aims to enable more young people to try paddling, establish basic paddling skills and knowledge that support future paddling pathways. Throughout the week, students engaged in small group sessions at Ski Beach facilitated from two of WA’s most experienced paddling instructors. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop new skills, and experience personal growth through challenging activities. Thank you to Paddle WA for visiting Kununurra and providing this wonderful opportunity to our students
Through the amazing funding that was sourced by Paddle Australia through Sport Australia as part of the commitment to increasing participation in regional Australia, Leonie Cockman and I flew over 2000 kilometres to Kununurra in August, we left Perth with the temperature being 5 degrees that morning and arrived in Kununurra, three and a quarter hours later where it was 33 degrees. The weather was fantastic for the whole week we were there, on the Monday Leo ran a PAQS session for the day for teachers from Kununurra and Wyndham and for two people who ran private businesses up in the Kimberley. We started off in the classroom and moved to the Ord River later in the day to do the on-water component.
From the Tuesday we had up to three classes a day of students with the teachers that had done the PAQS course on the water with us and the group of children, the ages ranged from 12-18, ever day was full on but so enjoyable for not only the kids but teachers and us. The teachers got heaps of positive feedback about how much fun the sessions were and are now considering having fun type sessions for all year 11/12 students not just those signed up to outdoor education. Perhaps our biggest achievement was catering for a big mob (21 kids) from Wyndham. It was absolute organised chaos. the kids don’t go in the water in Wyndham due to crocodiles (salties) so on their first fall in they were literally walking on water to get into another craft. By the end they were swimming and splashing and we could not get them out of the water. The confidence that we saw after the sessions from everyone of those kids was amazing, even when to start the session we may have had someone not confident to come into the water, ended up in the water and having so much fun.