As we get ready for Autumn and the cooler weather ahead, we’re taking a look back over the Pop up Paddlesports weeks we delivered for Friends of Hardway this Summer. This is the third year now that we have run the event, commissioned by the local community group, and it continues to be hugely popular while providing free and fun activities to keep local kids busy during the long summer months.
The ‘Pop up’ event offered free kayaking taster sessions for local children in the coastal waters off Hardway Green in Gosport. For two weeks in July and August, children were able to take part in hourly sessions, in groups of up to 15. Each session began with ensuring all participants were kitted out with buoyancy aids and paddles and after an onshore briefing they took to the water, with Oarsome Chance instructors on hand to teach them the basics and play some games once they were comfortable on the water.
Those new to kayaking were taught in the calm shallow water closer to shore. Those who were more confident or already had some experience were able to venture out further for games and races out in the bay, all under the supervision of Oarsome Chance staff, on the water with them. Sadly we lost one day to poor weather in the second week, but otherwise we were taking up to 40 children and young people out on the water every day.
We had some lovely initial feedback from parents at the event and on social media, including a lot of interest in these kinds of events happening more frequently. We’ve had over 20 families express an interest in our after-school row club. As part of our community development over the next 12 months we look forward to more community activities, delivered in partnership with other local groups, taking place in the future.
Special mention to Fluid Adventures Ltd, who arranged for a member of their team to provide additional safety support to our staff team. Ben was a brilliant part of the team and we look forward to more partnership opportunities with Fluid in future.
We’re also grateful to the Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust, whose funding helps support our delivery of rowing activities, including staff training costs. With HRRCT’s help we are able to deliver rowing activities to children and young people who would otherwise not have access to the amazing wellbeing benefits of rowing out on the water.
If you are a part of a local community group, school or organisation and would be interested in similar community services for you or your beneficiaries, get in touch for us to talk through what we can offer: [email protected], tel: 02392 504492