Manakau School

Learning a new skill - Deb's Desk

Posted on 19 June 2017

 Over the past month I have started learning a new skill, waka paddling. Hanging out with an old school friend and making connections with new people, it has been really good fun. When I was attending Otaki College in the mid to late 80’s, kayaking was my sport of choice.  On many weekends building up to the Secondary School Nationals we would head away to paddle some big water.  I didn’t realise at the time how much of a commitment the teachers, Eddie Bisdee and Dave Hoyle, gave to come away with the team. This Waka Ama training has reminded me of the commitment needed to be a part of a team…and not just from the immediate team…coaches, parents, teachers and extended whanau make a commitment every week.  Our Waka team have ‘Papa’ to coach us.  He has a story and a strategy for every occasion guiding us to give a little bit more to achieve success.  Every time I sit in the waka I am thinking about how I can tweak my technique to give more, I watch the people in front and take my timing from them.  I am loving this challenge and the team work involved and I share this quote by Matti Stepanek (1990 – 2004)Stepanek, known as Mattie J.T. Stepanek, was an American poet who published seven best-selling books of poetry. Before his death he had become known as a peace advocate and motivational speaker. 

 Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.


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