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The next generation?

 

 

Look around the Race Village this week and you’ll see big groups of excited schoolchildren. By Thursday, some 650 pupils will have visited the Village as part of a Schools Programme carefully planned by volunteer schools coordinator Meredith Graham and marketing coordinator Sam Henry.

 

The first day was a little disrupted by the inclement weather. “Monday was challenging but amazing in the way the team pulled together to get the children on the water,” said Graham. “Many thanks to Explore NZ who donated the Dolphin Explorer at short notice when it wasn’t possible to use Lion NZ. The skipper was very knowledgeable and informative & gave the children a great insight to what’s out there.”

 

Art Workshops are being held with João Parrhina, Sea Skeleton sculptor, creating portions of the Whale’s Tail sculpture out of the rubbish collected last Saturday from Motuihi Island. The children also view the “Keep the Oceans Clean!!” six minute film in the Dome cinema to set the scene.

 

“Our big picture for the whole term has been challenge and we figure you couldn’t get a bigger challenge than going to sea on an ocean yacht!” said Rangeview Intermediate School Team Leader Olwyn Grant. “The kids were very impressed with the video that showed how some of the animals died. We heard comments ‘that was really sad’ and they just hadn’t thought about it to the same extent.”

 

The exuberance around the tables in the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum workshop with hands reaching rapidly for bits of rubbish showed the enthusiasm of the Rangeview pupils wanting to create their piece of whale tail.

 

The Try-Sailing experience inside the Viaduct Harbour was another big hit and a first chance for many to get up close to the water. The wind obliged and the Ludic yachts skimmed across the inner Viaduct harbour to great delight of the new young sailors.

 

The NZ Sailing Trust has made the 80 foot maxi yacht Lion NZ available for a 30 minute harbour sail. The children from Karaka School had lessons on using the grinder before the girls’ team hoisted the genoa sail and Skipper Tom turned off the engine.

 

The Trust, inspired by Sir Peter Blake, provides a fantastic experience for school children with the chance to learn about different aspects of sailing from chart work, night watches and boat safety.

 

During their visit, each school also visits the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum for a tour covering the maritime history of New Zealand, the Volvo Pavilion displaying state of the art vehicles and technology and a walk through the Village.

 

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