This program is presented in conjunction with the Academy for Canoe Development since 2009 with the aim to develop children through sport, life skill programs and cross cultural activities.
The canoeing club is open to children from the whole community and the city, but a significant percentage of the children from the club come from extremely poor families in the community, primarily from a informal settlement.
We aim at developing children holistically. It's not simply about learning how to paddle and keep a canoe in the water.
Paddling skills are used as a tool in the development of general personal and life skills. The disciplines acquired as part of organized and competitive paddling teach much-needed skills.
A further aspect of the After School Care service is the supplementary feeding scheme. It became apparent there was a general inadequacy in the diet of the children attending this service which did not provide sufficient nourishment for them to participate in the canoeing training and remain healthy. Thank you also to PVM that donates energy bars and fortified mealie meal.
Within months of a child becoming part of this project we generally see significant positive development. A world of opportunity is opened through sports; we aim to develop the necessary skills to make use of these opportunities. Our dream is that these children will grow up to become leaders in various fields, giving back to the communities from which they came.
Already it is apparent that these children really excel at canoeing and kayaking. Many seem to have an inborn talent for the sport and coaches has high hopes that some would develop in to professional paddlers. There are various South African champions among the group and also children that attended international competitions.