New paddlers have a go

By Iain Hyndman

A waka ama Have A Go day on Wednesday attracted nearly a dozen interested newcomers, including international visitors competing at the New Zealand Masters Games in Wanganui.

Waka ama is a fast-growing sport in Wanganui and is included in the games this year, so organisers decided to promote the sport this week in the lead-up to games competition on the Whanganui River this weekend.

Organiser Charmaine Matiaha said the Have A Go day was designed to show people how much fun waka ama was and get them involved.

"It was designed to let people see what it's like out there on the water. We were hoping to attract a few more Wanganui people into our rapidly-growing sport, but funny enough it was the visitors that turned up. We had about 10 or so have a go, including a couple of guys from Australia here for the games," Matiaha said.

"We were also hoping to get a few kids along, maybe some of those who might be a bit shy to come to the club. We taught people about the boats, water safety and basic paddling skills."

Masters games waka ama will be contested on the Whanganui River along the Kowhai Park waterfront from 9am Saturday.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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