Out of the boring office and into that cool water.
That was the order of the day for keen paddlers from 20 businesses who duked it out in the Nafanua Business House Regatta yesterday.
The Regatta saw hundreds of paddlers and supporters swarm to the seawall to catch the action. Among them were young children who also got a taste of competitive paddling yesterday.
Sponsored by Vailima Breweries, the competition was to promote the Club’s Junior paddling programme, which they started a month ago.
This is the first event of its kind for the club and it was a huge success with great music, food, joyful atmosphere, fellowship between different business groups and of course the free beer. Tagaloa Frances Te’o, Secretary of the Nafanua Club Alo Pao Pao, said the day was about investing in the future of the sport.
“The fundraiser will enable us to buy some junior paddles, more life jackets, pay for boat maintenance and other little stuff for the Nafanua club as well,” she said. The motivation came from the noticeable success of the junior programme. “We run the midget programme every Saturday and after a month we have noticed that it has been very successful, we have had many kids come in and join,” Tagaloa said.
“So hopefully with this fundraiser we can make it bigger for the kids.” Aside from developing their junior programme, the event was also a great opportunity to promote paddling and outrigger canoeing as a sport.
“We want more people to know about the sport and to share the passion we have for it. It’s not really a popular sport in Samoa but this event is one of the many that will help us develop paddling,” Tagaloa said.
“Most of the people in the teams are new paddlers so we want more new faces in paddling.
According to Tagaloa all the teams got a good amount of training with 2-3 weeks of preparation time before the event.
This is only the start of the club’s push to develop the sport of paddling in Samoa and they will continue to fundraise harder this year to see their future plans come to life. In the final, Team Bluesky proved too good winning the 250m sprints with a time of 1.05minutes. M&J Ah Fook came second, followed by A.C.P. In the Ama division final, Digicel won, followed by Maxx Fit and Peata’s Salon.