‘This was our first time in a canoe and it was a great experience … it teaches teamwork, if there is no team work you’re not paddling, you’re just going round and round… Being on the water was great… I wished we could stay in there because it’s really nice.’
This is what Lindsay Chwerenga, a Grade 11 learner from Heathfield High, had to say about her first experience of canoeing. The Princess Vlei Canoe Club was initiated in 2021 through a partnership between the Princess Vlei Forum, and Gravity Adventures. The Forum organises the learners, while Gravity Adventures supplies the canoes, life jackets and other equipment, and an awesome crew to manage the boats and instruct the learners.
The project was launched in May with 20 learners from Heathfield High. Unfortunately, due to challenges linked to Covid, the weather and availability of teachers, we only managed one more session with Heathfield in the second term
In October, we revived the club with the Fairmount High Eco-club, thanks to the tireless efforts of Ms Rholda Gosain. Five sessions were run between October and December, with a total of 34 learners. Teachers also joined in.
The canoe sessions give the learners a great opportunity to have fun while experiencing the beauty and tranquility of a natural area. They learn many useful skills such as co-ordinating their movements, navigation, and team work. We hope to continue with this project next year, and to include environmental activities such as clean ups and planting.
Speaking of the Fairmount experience, Ms Gosain said, ‘The canoeing experience has brought such a lot of excitement in the lives of most of Fairmount's learners. I used the exercise to enlighten them about environmental concerns and it was such a fun way of highlighting the need to be environmentally aware. They loved it. I managed to get the attention of grades that I don't even teach. Thank you so much for affording us the opportunity.’
Thanks to the teachers who helped to organise the learners; Gravity Adventures; WESSA for sponsoring the Gravity Team; and the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust managed by Nedbank Private Wealth for funding our educational work.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.