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Boardriders' visit a great success

21st April 2021 The Gisborne Herald Jack Malcolm

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Photo: Hinemaurea Marea.

Gisborne Boardriders Club's noho at Wharekahika was another resounding success, with families from across the East Coast attending.

It is the third instalment of community experience days run by the club to rekindle their connection with the Coast.

A total of 48 children took to the waves at Hicks Bay for a day of fun in the surf, with equipment provided by Gisborne Boardriders and the YMCA.

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The club then gave away 10 secondhand surfboards and 20 wetsuits that were donated by the Gisborne community.

Gisborne Boardriders surfing development officer Flo Bub said the sight of the faces of the children receiving a free surfboard was motivation enough to run the programme.

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Following the success and the engagement they had experienced in the three days the club had already spent up the Coast, they were in talks to make it a more permanent event.

“We want to make it sustainable and offer surfing to the kids more often by upskilling the champions of the community,” Bub said.

“We're seeing a real community need, but it's equally important to upskill the supervisors and adults.”

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Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti Manawakura team member Shyla Drew-Taiapa said the Coast community had significantly benefited from the Gisborne Boardriders initiative, and it was a no-brainer to help organise the noho.

“I thought it was a ‘give-give' situation . . . only good comes from this kaupapa.”

She was impressed by the way in which the Gisborne Boardriders representatives conducted themselves, working hard to understand, learn and experience the history of the Coast and its people.

“They did it the right way . . . the way they came through wanting to experience tikanga Maori, the marae and the powhiri. We connected on so many levels.”

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Drew-Taiapa said she had heard nothing but positive feedback from the whanau in attendance, with several families floating the idea of creating their own boardriders club.

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“All the parents have seen the benefits, not just physically but also mentally.

“For our tamariki, it provides our kids with a positive experience, and that has a ripple effect through the community.”

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