Radio Dannevirke has agreed to sponsor two four-day sessions in January at Wai Splash.
With the great success of their Water Safety programme in the first two school holidays of 2023, staff at Wai Splash were looking for funding to make it a regular holiday feature.
The first two were kindly sponsored by the Heald family from the proceeds of their successful sunflower selling in March and with the summer holidays approaching, there was urgency to find a new sponsor.
Radio Dannevirke FM’s presenter Glennis McDonald put the idea to their committee and with profits from advertising available, the station agreed to sponsor $2500 to fund the two sessions in January, which will be called The Radio Dannevirke Holiday Programme.
The programme, which runs from 8.30am-3.30pm, was devised by Wai Splash staff members Stephanie Duff and Kaiya Haitana-Butcher, and covers every aspect of water safety, from staying afloat to helping others survive with flotation devices.
Because it was a slightly older group in July, more advanced swimming skills were taught. Stephanie said the kids absolutely loved being in the pool and the only time they willingly got out of it was for lunch. That is even provided!
There were classroom lessons dealing with appropriate actions in various circumstances, such as dealing with waves and rips in the sea, when someone fell off a boat, scrambling out of slippery rock pools, coping with the current in rivers and even protocol and behaviour in the larger aquatic centres.
These also involved craft activities, one being a challenge to design your dream swimming pool, including all its safety features.
Intermingled with the water- and classroom-based activities were fun outdoor events when weather permitted, such as softball, dodgeball and even a duathlon, winding up with a special treat on Friday - a movie at the Regent Theatre.
Stephanie expects the 24 places in each of these two sessions will fill up quickly and bookings plus more information can be obtained by contacting Wai Splash on (06) 374 7772 or Stephanie on 027 512 5490.
Glennis says she loves helping young people gain skills and experience, having been heavily involved with scouts and St John Cadets to name just two of her past and present commitments, and she reckons she will be heading along to Wai Splash to see how the sessions go in January.
- Dave Murdoch is a part-time photojournalist working for the Bush Telegraph and based at Dannevirke. He has covered any community story telling good news about the district for the last 10 years.