Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Kids can, and do, surf waves

Reihana Rapira, 12, is a natural sportsman, so his grandparents weren't surprised when he learned to surf after just a few days.

Now, the Naenae Intermediate School pupil wants his own surfboard so he can hit the Wellington waves.

Reihana was one of 12 children chosen by Meridian Energy to attend a surf camp at Raglan last month.

Guy Waipara, Meridian Energy's general manager of external relations, said the company is a principal sponsor of KidsCan in schools - providing food and clothes - and he thought it was time to try something a bit more indepth for children who are based around their hydro stations and wind farms.

None had tried surfing.

"The whole idea of surfing is as a means to have a bit of fun, get to know each other ... and a couple of them were actually quite good."

The children also learned about the environment and sustainability and had a tour of the company's wind farm at nearby Te Uku.

Top Kiwi pro Daniel Kereopa, who , who taught the children to surf, said the hardest part was breaking down their fears of the unknown. That's the part that I find the tricky area. When you make them comfortable surfing it really is easy."

- NZ Herald

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