More children use local water playground

Hundreds more Wellington children are now experiencing ocean water sports in their own backyard … Wellington Harbour.

Through a KiwiSport-funded programme, the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (RPNYC) is delivering a two-hour ocean water sports introduction in either keelboat sailing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, waka ama or windsurfing to at least 1250 school children during this summer. Already the introductory ocean water sport sessions have encouraged at least 15 children to sign up for further lessons in dinghy sailing and in the Wellington Ocean Sports Holiday programme which covers a variety of ocean sports.


The Ocean Water Sports project follows a successful contract between the club and Sport Wellington two years ago to introduce keelboat sailing to almost 500 children.  Since then RPNYC has partnered with Wellington City Council to encourage more teenagers and adults to ‘have a go’ at ocean water sports during Saturday open days. By the end of December 924 children had sailed, paddled or windsurfed from the club’s Clyde Quay Marina base or from Freyberg Beach as part of the ocean water sports school programme. Programme coordinator Matthew Wood says funding from KiwiSport to widen the water sports available gives children across the region a greater chance to experience a new sport in their own backyard.


“We are surrounded by ocean in Wellington so it’s great to give children the opportunity to enjoy these varied water-based sports.  We’ve been inundated from schools who want to be involved and have awesome feedback from them,” he says. “It’s fantastic to see children from lower decile schools, who might not normally have the opportunity to get out on the water, have an awesome time out there.”


The RPNYC has partnered with Tunui a te Ika Outrigger Canoe Club, Canoe and Kayak, Wild Winds and the Wellington Windsurfing Association to provide specialist instruction in the different water sports.  During the two hour instruction children are also taught basic water safety skills, wind awareness and other skills generic to different ocean water sports. This gave children the opportunity of on-going participation with any of the water sport clubs, says Matthew. However just travelling to Wellington City and going out on the water is a new experience for some children.  Principal of Russell School, Sose Annandale says the programme is of immense benefit for the children from the Porirua school.


“This is a really special trip that is reserved for the final push in the development of our leaders here at Russell School.  From here they go out into the big world of intermediate and beyond hopefully to return one day full of pride for their community and the learning journey they began at Russell.


“The challenge of such sports for the children when they are out of their comfort zone gives them a huge sense of 'conquering' their inner fear and in turn enables the thought, trigger or message that they 'can do anything',” she says. Sose adds that Pasifika children are over represented in water sport mishaps through drowning and poor safety practises on the water.  “So safety messages on the boat such as the purpose of the life jacket are powerful messages.”


KiwiSport Manager Peter Woodman-Aldridge agrees. He says the ocean water sports programme has a secondary aim.  “Because of our location Sport Wellington sees water safety as a life skill.  We emphasise any water-based sports provide water safety skills as well as instruction in the sport. This ties in with our programme Learn to Swim which has taught water skills to thousands of children throughout the Wellington region since 2010.”


KiwiSport aims to increase the number of school-aged children having the opportunity and participating in sports. Through Sport Wellington KiwiSport has invested $2.2 million during the past three years in community-led programmes, enabling more than 109,000 children to participate in sport across the greater Wellington region.


Media Release KiwiSport Ocean Water Sports programme.


Looking for a Club or activity?


Social Media

Need a new challenge? Mt Lowry is only 2 months away! Register now for your space in the Mt Lowry Challenge on Sunday 17 May 2015! With walking or running categories and this course is designed for experienced and newcomers alike. You don’t need to be a top athlete to compete. It is a competitive enough trail for the seasoned trail runner, but tame enough for those who want to give the "trail thing" a try. Mt Lowry Challenge is a fun race for all fitness levels and all ages, taking place in some of the wonderful bush tracks in the Eastbourne area.

Who will be named Administrator of the Year at the 2015 Sport Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards? Last year the title went to Matt Wood, of Wellington Ocean Sports! Shine a light on your administrators by nominating them today at Nominations close 5pm, Friday 24 April.

RT @nzgolf: Daniel Hillier takes out the men's title, congrats Dan!

Congrats to Daniel Hillier and Julianne Alvarez, on their success at the 2015 Cobra PUMA NZ Amateur Golf Championship

Congratulations to Wellingtonians Daniel Hillier and our 2014 Emerging Sportswoman of the Year Julianne Alvarez, on their success at the 2015 Cobra PUMA NZ Amateur Golf Championship.

Last year, Wellington Scottish Athletics Club took out the Club of the Year award, at the Sport Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards. Who will earn the title this year?? Nominations close 5pm, Friday 24 April. Get your nominations for Club of the Year in today at

Last year @wgtnscottish took out the Club of the Year award, who will win this year? Nominate now - #WgtnSportsAwards

Congratulations to all those named as finalists in the 2015 Hutt City Sports Awards! Winners will be announced during the 14 May awards ceremony, and an overall Hutt City Sportsperson of the Year will be selected from each of the category winners. Check out the list of finalists here.

Have you submitted your nominations yet? Less than 2 wks till noms close for #WgtnSportsAwards. Get yours in now!

Have you submitted your 2015 Sport Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards nominations yet? With nominations closing on Friday, 24 April at 5pm, there are only a couple of weeks left to compile and submit your nominations - don't miss this fantastic opportunity to reward your achievers and celebrate success in your sport! This is a chance to not only showcase your high performing sportspeople, but to shine a light on administrators, volunteers and officials who make sport happen. Visit our website for more information, or to submit your nomination now.

Congratulations to all of the winners at last nights NZ Sport and Recreation Awards, Sport Bay of Plenty, Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti, Yachting New Zealand, Rowing New Zealand, Visit Auckland, Sport New Zealand. Special congrats to Arthur Klapp, a founding member of our own Cigna Round the Bays, on receiving a Lifetime Achievement award, acknowledging his work across several community sports events.

Narelle Hoile and her family have been making some really positive lifestyle changes with the help of our Green Prescription & Active Families Wellington programme. They have been increasing their daily physical activity and taking part in local events such as this years Cigna Round the Bays. Read about their continued efforts here. Keep up the great work Hoile family!

RT @minhealthnz: Find out how Narelle's family's been getting active with support from @SportWgtn…

Congrats to NZCT AIMS Games for winning the Event Excellence Award at #NZSportRecAwards @sportbopnz

Activation Upper Hutt are running a series of massage and strapping workshops. Go along and learn some handy tips and techniques!


NZ-Sport-Logo-BLK.jpg NZCT logo name2 ec com trust MoH logo2 Wgtn Community Trust white background Pelorus