Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has renewed its partnership with Vector Wero Whitewater Park for 2018 to 2019.
"The whole team at Vector Wero is very excited that WSNZ has expressed confidence in the Wero Toru – Introduction to White Water." says Joseph Casalme, GM Community and Schools Programme, "The team worked hard to develop and deliver the river safety and crossing programme and, in our first year, over 3,000 children learned valuable knowledge and skills in assessing and successfully crossing moving water. This was made possible with the funding from WSNZ."
New Zealand has one of the highest drowning rates in the OECD, with males being four times more likely to drown than females. Drowning is also the fourth highest cause of accidental death in New Zealand.
"Every year, far too many people lose their lives through drowning. Yet research reveals that most drownings and injuries were preventable," adds Casalme.
Of the 104 drownings (both recreationally and otherwise) in New Zealand in 2017, 84% were preventable. (Water Safety NZ 2017 New Zealand Drowning Prevention Provisional Report)
The Wero Toru – Introduction to White Water is a two hour session held at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park. It is the only schools programme designed for introduction to moving and white water with actual live experience and application within a highly controlled and safe environment.
Students are taught by qualified instructors to assess dynamic river environments and basic hydrology. The children also learn the importance of wearing life jackets and safety gear around moving water.
They also gain understanding in a variety of techniques to safely cross turbulent white water before having the chance to swim the rapids. The students also get to learn and enjoy rafting down the Tamariki River.
"The funding is designed to provide access to schools with limited resources and reach out to the communities which will need the support the most."
To apply to the programme, go to www.wero.org.nz/wsnz-werotoru