Mahe Drysdale is best known for his exploits on the water but on Monday he visited children at Kaikoura Primary School and Hapuku School to boost morale, encourage reading and gift brand new books.

Double Olympic champion Drysdale, who was acting as a Duffy Books role model, spread the message during a special assembly to kids "It's cool to read and cool to achieve".

Kaikoura Primary principal Nigel Easson said the students have been tired since the earthquake, but were excited about their special guest.

"The earthquake left some students lacking confidence and energy. We are so grateful to be a Duffy school and we hope Mahe's visit will be the push the students have needed to be inspired to regain confidence".

Drysdale said it was an awesome feeling to travel the country as a Duffy role model.

"It's pretty special when you give the kids their brand new books, they're so excited to receive them because a lot of these kids don't often get the opportunity to have books at home. Sponsors can really feel good about giving back and helping out the youth of today".