Talent Pool program Rafting Up Port Hedland

Paddle WA travels to Port Hedland

16, 17 March 2024

Last weekend, Paddle WA ventured north to Port Hedland to deliver a Paddling Supervisor course to young people participating in the Royal Life Saving Society WA Talent Pool program

As part of the program young people are trained in life saving, first aid and pool management, with the aim that they can then gain employment and skills that will set them up for life. 

RLSSWA wanted to add more to what they were already doing and approached Paddle WA to run the Supervisor course with the intention to upskill participants to be able to develop and coordinate paddling activities for children in the region.

They weren’t too sure what was going to happen when Peter Ashby rolled up on Saturday morning.  With most of them being new to paddling themselves with much of their experience of paddling sit on top kayaks confined to the local pool, some were a little anxious. 

What’s the best way to start a paddling course? 

Not with theory but with a bit of fun!
Timothy Jorda
Timothy Jorda. 📷 Royal Life Saving Society WA

So, it was off to the beautiful waters of Pretty Pool tidal creek, to get out and have a paddle. From then on it was two days of fun and learning. Everyone was very keen and attentive and wanted to do the best they could. 

Rafing Up By Pretty Pool Shoreline
Rafting up by Pretty Pool. 📷 Royal Life Saving Society WA
Kayak Polo Markus Jackson
Kayak Polo – Markus Jackson. 📷 Royal Life Saving Society WA
Under Tent With Talent Pool 1
Talent Pool Tent. 📷 Royal Life Saving Society WA

By Sunday afternoon, all had passed the practical assessments with flying colours. 

Once they complete the theory components, there will be 14 new Supervisors in the Port Hedland region!

It is hoped that this is not the only time that Paddle WA heads to the north of the state.

By running these types of programs, Paddle WA can upskill locals to the point they can pass on their knowledge and skills on to their own communities. 

Already the Talent Pool participants are planning to run school holiday paddling programs for kids in Port Hedland, exposing others to the fun, fitness and safety of paddling as recreation. 

Thanks very much to Tim Turner from Royal Life Saving WA for the invitation and hosting the weekend course. 

Our thanks also to the amazing Pete Ashby for his excellent paddle course organisation, facilitation and engagement of everyone involved! ⭐⭐⭐

Peter Ashby
Peter Ashby. 📷 Royal Life Saving Society WA

Paddle WA is looking forward to running Guide and possibly Instructor courses for the locals in the future. Potentially opening up opportunities for other communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.

If you are interested in running paddling qualification courses in your area, please contact our Education Officer, education@paddlewa.asn.au