Senior students at Cromwell College recently got the opportunity to canoe from Cromwell Watersport Centre to the Pacific Ocean via the Mata au (Clutha River) – a five day, 200ks adventure.
The group consisted of seven students plus Katrina Pollard, Watersport Centre Manager and Steve Hopkinson, Outdoor Education teacher and were completely independent of any support crew.
The students were Libby Borthwick, Matthew Davis, Braedon Fiebig, Nina Firth, Trieste Kerr, Ellie O’Brien and Lachlan MacTaggart.
They travelled in three double kayaks and four singles, and the students took turns in the different vessels.
Katrina says, “The trip required a lot of preparation and a determination to meet the goal, as it was not an easy excursion.”
“They definitely had to dig deep, but they were so positive, so focussed, so enthusiastic and so caring of each other.”
They paddled up to 65ks in a day, and there were definite low points for the group and for individuals, as well as great fun.
“Over the five days the students faced many challenges and demonstrated pure grit and determination – it was an amazing effort by all involved.
Katrina stresses that trips such as this require not only the paddling, but planning, camping, organising and looking after themselves and each other.
One of the great benefits is that they come to a realisation that they can take on huge things, and overcome the odds, by breaking a goal or a challenge down into smaller bites.
When they had all safely reached the sea, they were proud to say,
“Man! We actually did it!”
Katrina, who is programme facilitator for the College Watersport, has also taken Level 2 (Year 12) students on a paddling and camping trip to Lake Manapouri in March, and organised Cromwell-based courses for the junior school earlier in the year. Anyone interested in finding out more about what is happening the Cromwell College Watersport Centre, and the new courses being trialed this year, can visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Cromwell-College-Watersport-Centre