by Mike Sabey
'Fun on the Foreshore' inaugural regional event, part of the Active After-school Communities program, was held on Geelong’s Eastern Beach today. Twenty two excited Bellarine Peninsula students aged seven to eight years from St Leonards Primary had an absolute ball.
Geelong Sth Tackers - Geelong Regional Activities day 2011
Many of the students come from single parent or low socioeconomic families, with most never having had an opportunity to visit Eastern Beach or step in side the grounds of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
They were amongst more than 100 students from Holy Family, Geelong South and St Leonards primary schools who took part in the inaugural ‘Fun on the Foreshore’, run by the Australian Government’s Active After-school Communities program (AASC) program.
The new multi activities program was conducted with the assistance of Yachting Victoria, Vic Beach Volleyball, Geelong Triathlon Club and hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to help foster paths ways for young people to find a sport that they find the best fun.
Through the day, kids were given unique opportunities to try out and test their fledgling skills in the sensational new Tackers sailboats and a host of fun based land activities.
Loud yells of delight echoed across Corio Bay as excited kids tried out their new found skills in the Tackers ‘Opti’ yachts and trimmed sail.
A beaming Krystl Bonney from Geelong South PS said when she came ashore, 'It was so exciting when got the wind to shoot us along!
Her crew Laura Gardiner said, 'It was awesome fun, especially when we got to capsize the boat!'
The students also got the chance to meet and hear high profile RGYC keelboat helmsman Brendan Garner, who sailed offshore aboard the Cookson 50 footer Jazz in this year’s rugged USA to UK Trans Atlantic race as well competing in last year’s Sydney to Hobart race.
In an inspiring talk aimed at motivating the students to have a go, 36 year old Brendon who has two young children told the students, 'When I was the same age as you guys, I tried swimming, little league and little aths before settling on sailing because I found it was so much fun.
'Now I still enjoy lots of fun sailing and I’ve have met heaps of great friends. And I’ve also been lucky to make my career in boating!
The Active After-school Communities program is an Australian Government initiative delivered by the Australian Sports Commission to over 3,200 schools and out of school care centres across Australia.
Each term, up to 190,000 children participate in up to 70 different sports and 20 structured physical activities after school. For more information about the AASC program visit the website.
Royal Geelong Yacht Club which hosted today’s event and supplied yachts, also conducts the Tackers program for young people. For more information about their Summer programs Ph 03 5229 3705.
Yachting Victoria website