Kiwi kids make a splash in Samoa

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“ITS GREAT WHEN LEARNING CAN BE FUN!”: Members of the Nafanua Paddling Club together with students and teachers of Kowhai Intermediate.

“ITS GREAT WHEN LEARNING CAN BE FUN!”: Members of the Nafanua Paddling Club together with students and teachers of Kowhai Intermediate.

Local outrigger canoe club, Nafanua Kalapu Alo Paopao recently hosted students from Kowhai Intermediate School’s Bi-lingual class New Zealand. 

On a hot afternoon, twenty six enthusiastic students between the ages of 11 and 17 were accompanied by their teachers and parents arrived at the Nafanua Clubhouse, which is based at the Ocean Club, Matautu.  

Nafanua’s vice president, Xavier Lui welcomed everyone and offered a brief insight into the club itself. He began the afternoon session teaching the kids the proper techniques and safety of paddling. 

Club member Moana Schreckenberg said. “We were excited but also a little bit nervous to host so many kids on the water at once, but the students were so well behaved, listened to our instructions and within 15 minutes there were four outrigger canoes armed with excited young paddlers paddling up and down the Apia Harbour.” 

For two hours the students took turns paddling while others cooled off in the water. The highlight for all was when the teachers decided it was their turn to give it a go and also challenging their students to a race – No Mercy – was the motto as the teachers crossed the finish line first. 

As a bonus the students were invited to visit the The Gaualofa, where they got so see and learn about Samoan voyagers. Pasifika Advisor for Kowhai Intermediate and Trip Coordinator, Foisaga Frost said “This is the first trip for their bi-lingual class to help the kids understand Samoan culture and improve on the language, they plan to make it a yearly experience and today has been a great day for students and teachers – it’s great when learning can be fun!”

The day finished with club president Mamea Samuel Ieremia presenting school principal Louise Broad with an engraved paopao to commemorate the visit.

Broad thanked the Nafanua Club and said “this will look very nice in our trophy and gift cabinet back home”. 

Then unexpectedly, 20 lifejackets were generously gifted to the Nafanua club as a token of thanks. Club President Mamea thanked the school and explained how the life jackets will greatly assist their junior paddling programme and development of the club.

The Nafanua Kalapu Alo Paopao would like to welcome all schools, programmes, companies who want a day out on the water or include paddling into their programme to come down and give it a go! 

The clubs social paddling day for individuals is every Friday at 5.30pm, for further information contact Club Secretary Emeline Ioane on 7206266 or find us on facebook under NAFANUA KALAPU ALO PAOPAO.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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