16 December 2010
MEDIA RELEASE (photo opportunities available)
World champion to lead new YMCA motocross holiday programme
For 15 Hawke’s Bay school children this holiday will be like no other. Katherine Prumm, a double world motocross champion, will be leading a unique week-long YMCA motocross holiday programme for children aged from four to 13 years old.
Ms Prumm, 21, will be assisted by her brother Matthew, 20, himself a New Zealand champion rider, over the week of 17 to 21 January in a programme that aims to raise the skills and confidence of riders of varying skills and abilities.
This is the first week-long holiday programme of its kind in the country and YMCA Hawke’s Bay chief executive, Peter Andersson says the excitement level amongst young motorbike riders is palpable. “We had one young girl sign up immediately she heard about it. She has had Katherine’s poster on her bedroom wall for years and can’t believe she will be learning from her idol.”
The children will be riding different tracks each day but there will be no competitive racing. Emphasis will be on developing each child’s skill level, which could well range from backyard riders to some who are racing competitively. Each participant will need to provide their own bike and fuel. Transport to and from the various tracks will be provided by YMCA.
The Prumms will be assisted by volunteers, a number of whom are members of the Hawke’s Bay Motorcycle Club, which has offered its Valley Road site for the final day of the programme.
The motocross programme is one of 18 holiday programmes offered by YMCA Hawke’s Bay this summer, catering for between 700 and 800 school aged children.
Other specialised programmes include arts and crafts, a youth programme, and three week-long camps at Guthrie Smith Outdoor Education Centre in Tutira. A special Breakaway programme is also running specifically for 100 Flaxmere children and youth.
Other programmes offer alternate days of age-specific on-site and off-site activities such as trips to movies, archery, Splash Planet, and swimming pools. Senior children will also travel to Wairoa to compete against their counterparts in the YMCA Gisborne holiday programmes.
On-site days at YMCA locations around Hawke’s Bay, including Waipawa, include kite building, crafts, sports, and for juniors, storytellers. Over 30 YMCA staff are involved over the summer, and over 40 Y-Force volunteers have signed up but more are needed to ensure the adult to child ratios are met, which are higher on the days involving water activities.
Children can be enrolled for the full three weeks and three days of January or on a selected day basis. Weekly enrolments are required for the week-long Camp programme.
There will be three camps offered at Guthrie Smith starting from 10 January. These are offered for children 10 to 15 years with physical activities including high ropes, kayaking, swimming and bush walks, along with leadership training and teamwork exercises.
Mr Andersson says the camps are very popular with some children signing up for more than one week. “It’s a great opportunity for children to make new friends from different schools and areas of the region. My own children go and have made strong friendships that they keep throughout the year.”
The youth programme caters for 11 to 15 year olds and activities are largely driven by the children themselves. Making movies, creating CDs of their own music, and organising day tramps are included but as participants have input into what they did, things could take completely different directions, says Mr Andersson.
Parents wishing to check out programme options or make enrolments, plus volunteers wanting to register, can visit www.ymcahb.org.nz, or phone 06 878 3027 or call into any YMCA Hawke’s Bay location.