New ways to play
An extension of Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club’s sailing academy, which has been teaching people how to sail for the past 20 years, the new centre is funded by a Sport New Zealand grant through Wellington City Council’s active communities initiative.
“The beauty of it is we’re building on a successful model,” says the club’s CEO Dean Stanley.
The idea, he says, “came out of a review about three years ago of what we were doing in the club. We thought we were doing okay in sailing, but we could do more.”
The Centre is included in the long term plan to revamp Clyde Quay Boat Harbour and make it “a much more public space than a private enclave,” Stanley says.
RPNYC reached out to Wellington’s other watersport clubs and enthusiasts for buy in and instructors. The goal is to experience the sports – during the centre’s open days, every last Saturday of the month – and then get out on the water regularly by taking courses, offered in multiple skill levels, or renting the equipment. Under their facilities beside and beneath Freyberg Pool they’ve amassed canoes, kayaks, windsurfers, and wakas, and have a classroom, changing room, and storage area.
Open days, which allow anyone to use the gear for a gold coin donation, have been happening since February, with as many as 115 people attending, according to project manager Matt Wood.
To book a course go to www.oceansports.org.nz from June 1.