Curro Roodeplaat introduces kayaking!15 May 2023
Curro Roodeplaat has been longing to introduce kayaking as a school activity for years due to its proximity to the Roodeplaat Dam. Well, the wait is over. Recently, they connected with the Academy for Canoe Development, which provided an opportunity to learn more about kayaking.
This organisation offers training, specialist equipment (canoes, lifejackets, paddles), and coaches who focus on character building, skills training, and social and physical development during each session. The academy has produced provincial, national, and international champions, and all coaches possess level 1 or level 2 coaching certificates from the International Canoe Federation, ensuring that learners are in capable hands.
Marketer Monica Kepadisa says, ‘We started training at the beginning of 2023 with Grades 2 to 7 learners. Training days are Mondays and Wednesdays, and the learners are transported to the Roodeplaat Dam from the school. All learners must do a basic water-safety test to make sure they can help themselves if they fall into the water. At the dam the kayaks are packed out and the learners take their boats to the edge of the dam and with their paddle in hand and life jacket on, they glide into the water. If they fall out of their boat, they are taught to swim to the side of the dam with their boat. They then empty their boat of water and get back into it. Once this procedure has been followed, they are expected to return out to the race or training session. This is a practical lesson which holds value both for kayaking and for life.’
Kayaking is a year-round activity, and the school is thrilled to be offering it as a new sporting option. Since February, learners have progressed from a small, demarcated area to the open waters of the Roodeplaat Dam and other lakes around Gauteng. They have even taken part in competitive races, accumulating points for each race in which they participate.
Monica concludes, ‘Curro Roodeplaat is proud of our learners' progress and excited for the future of kayaking in the school. We’re making history!’