Holiday programme provides week of fun

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2014

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Beach cricket, a splash at the pool and catching the latest movies are among the free holiday activities lined up for Waitara youngsters this week.

The week-long holiday programme, which started on Monday , is run by YMCA with funding from the Ministry of Social Development, aimed at giving youths aged 11 to 17 years old productive activities over the summer break.

About 32 teenagers from as far away as Inglewood gathered on Monday at Waitara Beach for a morning of beach cricket, basketball and skating, as well as collecting driftwood to use in a wearable arts fashion parade tomorrow .

YMCA holiday programme organiser Astrid Scrimgeour believed the programme was the first of its kind for the Waitara area and a powhiri was held to bless the week-long event. Indoor activities will be held at Manukorihi Intermediate.

Mrs Scrimgeour said parents had been "crying out" for affordable holiday activities for their children.

Yesterday's itinerary consisted of horse riding at Urenui followed by a fishing expedition by the Waitara River. A splash at the Waitara Pools is on today and a trip to the movies.

Teens will get creative tomorrow with a cooking class as well as designing their own fashion masterpieces for a wearable arts show. Friday wraps up with an Amazing Race around town and a picnic lunch.

The ministry provided about $5000 to run the five-day programme, to cater for about 50 young people. But Mrs Scrimgeour said numbers were not limited to 50 and spaces were still available.

Courteney Collingwood, 16, of Waitara, said the activities gave her something to do. Friend Mikayla Payne, 16, said it was better than sitting around in front of the television, laptop and phone.

For cousins Niko Kake-Tuffley, 13, and Susana Cameron, 12, the activities were about spending time with each other and making new friends.

Niko said her holidays had just been made more exciting. "So far, I had done nothing much except household chores," she said.

Contact Astrid Scrimgeour on (027) 258 3920 to sign up or for more information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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