Juniors form heart of club
A FRESH start beckons for the junior outriggers of the Kai Puna Outrigger Canoe Junior Development Squad.
This year the junior coaches and many members have branched out and formed a new club – the Wide Bay Honus, Honus meaning green sea turtles.
The new club has over 25 members including three teams of juniors and is expected to grow rapidly because of the success the juniors have experienced in recent years, including a crew of six under-14s that came home from the Cook Island last year as the overall under-14 champions.
The Honus will have four experienced coaches at the helm, including world and national champions.
Coach Michelle Tayler said the club would mark a new beginning for the development of junior outrigging in the area.
Senior paddling and social paddling will also be a part of the club but the main focus will be on competitive outrigging this year.
The year ahead promises to be a busy one for the outriggers, with four members of the junior squad selected to compete in the world titles in New Caledonia this year.
The club will soon have a new clubhouse, which will be situated at Gatakers Bay in Point Vernon.
Junior coach Chris LesMesurier said the club was looking forward to moving into the clubhouse, adding that is was a wonderful spot to paddle from and very family-friendly.
“It’s great to have something at this end of town for a change.”
The members realise they have a tough job ahead, getting the club up and running, but are confident the venture will be a success.
The club has been given three canoes from the Bundaberg Outrigging Club so they will be able to keep their junior and senior outriggers out on the water.
The Australian Outrigger Canoe Association is also giving the club support.