Assembly on Fri 20th May was preparation for ‘Go canoeing week’ where the national challenge is for all schools in England to paddle a combined distance of 30 000 miles to Rio, where the Olympics will be held this summer. Assembly started by learning how to say ‘hello’ in Portuguese. It is an easy one to remember…’Oi’.
As Rio is a long way from Southsea, and we would have a long journey on our kayak’s we needed to be able to catch fish to feed ourselves. The floor was covered in cod (not real cod) and each class had to send a pupil to catch as many fish in 30 seconds with their fishing rod that they had made. The winners, with 6 fish each, were Wembley, Adventure and Victory who will all share the magnificent, inaugural Mary Rose Fishing trophy.
Safety when kayaking 30 000 miles is paramount. So we checked all pupils and staff knew how to put on their helmet and buoyancy aid before running in a hotly contended relay race. Paddles were used to run around and added some dizzy fun.
We finished by making sure our paddling technique was strong and efficient. We looked at pictures of excellent kayaking including Harry Arbuthnot from Wembley, and Emma Wiggs, the current K1 world champion. 6 volunteers then paddled the kayaks in the hall in time with each other in spite of being hit by some enormous waves from the audience, caused by their water sprays and pistols!
Sensible people had thought ahead and had donned poncho’s as how could you go canoeing without getting wet?!