Vanuatu Para-Rowing

$2,110 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 25 people in 25 months
Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sport.

Rowing gave me self-confidence, built my self-esteem, taught me to be focussed and committed, and gave me the opportunity to travel the world and make lifelong friends. I want to provide the same opportunity to others and in particular, those in Vanuatu.

The Vanuatu Rowing Association has an established rowing club which has seen athletes competing on the World stage in recent years, and being an inclusive club, have recently started a Para-Rowing program.

The program gives people with impairments the opportunity to experience the wonderful sport of rowing and feel free out on the water.

The program is in the initial stages but has received great interest from the local community with interested participants making contact with the club on a weekly basis.

As it is for many sports, and in particular para sports, funding is limited. The program received a donation of approximately AUD $120 from Friends Vanuatu which has helped cover some transport costs for the athletes to attend training however this is the only funding they have received.

Each athlete is required to pay approximately AUD $120 for a 12 month club membership which covers coaches, the use of equipment and insurance. In  addition to this, there are public transport costs for many athletes to attend training. This may not be a significant cost to us, but it is to them. It may mean some people are unable to be part of the program.

It’s horrible to think that an insignificant amount of money to us is stopping someone from participating in a sport they love and having the feeling of freedom and accomplishment each time they complete a training session or race.

Thanks to a Layne Beachley Foundation Aim for the Stars Scholarship, I will be travelling to Vanuatu a few times over the next 12 months to assist on the ground with their Para-Rowing program, with the aim to have a squad of eligible athletes training so the Vanuatu Rowing Association can apply for the FISA/AGITOS Camp to be held in Italy in April/May 2017. This development camp is fully funded and is open to Nations who have not participated in rowing at the Paralympic Games.

By donating today, you are helping to provide someone with the opportunity to learn how to row and possibly, one day, be a Paralympian.

All donations are greatly appreciated and as a thank you, the below rewards are up for grabs.

$20 – A Social Media shout out (Facebook & Twitter).

$50 – You will receive a little update and some photos during my visits to Vanuatu.

$120 – A photo and personal message from one of the athletes.

$200 – A video message from the athletes.

Donating is easy and quick, simply use your debit or credit card and follow the prompts.

Follow me on Twitter for regular updates - @TaraHuntly

Thanks in advance.
Tara
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The Port Vila Rowing Club are doing a 10km Walkathon in a couple of weeks as a fundraiser for the club. These vital funds will go towards new equipment, uniforms, travel, coaching and shed/equipment maintenance.

The para-athletes benefit from this fundraising as the athletes are fully integrated within the club and train and travel with the senior squad. The idea that some people within the club walk up to 30km a day to attend training just blows my mind, and they are doing the walkathon on top of that, amazing!

If you would like to donate any money, please do so through this GoFundMe account. Any amount is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Tara
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At the Sydney International Rowing Regatta in Penrith in March 2017, George Langa was the first para-rower from Vanuatu to compete at an international regatta. He competed in the LTA Men's 1x and was up against athletes (14) from Australia and Hong Kong.

After a few days of training, it was finally race day. As George took to the water for his heat, he was nervous. This was completely understandable as this was his first official race. Prior to arriving at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, he had never rowed on a course or experienced a "real" race where people were in lanes next to him. He handled his nerves well and had a great first race, finishing in the middle of the field.

The first two athletes across the line in each heat progressed straight to the A Final, the others had another opportunity to secure their spot in the final through the rep later that afternoon.

As George finished in the middle of the field, he had another opportunity to race that afternoon. Racing the rep was an advantage as it provided another racing opportunity which he could learn from.

George put into action some of the things he learnt from his earlier race and raced his way into the A Final by finishing second. I was so excited and may have done a little happy dance on the pontoon.

After a night to recover and recharge, eight athletes lined up for the LTAM1x A Final. The race had a wide range of experience, including a duel Paralympian and athletes with international experience, such as World Championships.

George raced out of the start and never gave up. He held his own to finish 6th overall, just pipped at the line for 5th place. It was a tight race from start to finish, with people fighting for every inch of the water. To finish 6th in his first international competition was a great reward for all the hard work he has put in over the last 12 months.

The Vanuatu Rowing Association, Port Vila Rowing Club and his family should be really proud of the way he conducted himself on and off the water. He was professional, polite and competitive. You wouldn't have known that he started rowing only 12 months ago.

All of this wouldn't have been possible without your generous donations! The money raised covered his travel expenses including flights, food, visa and travel insurance. Thank you!

I am returned to Vanuatu after Easter with the Oceania Paralympic Committee and conducted a Paralympic Workshop and a Para-Rowing Come and Try Day. From this, we have identified more athletes to join George and build an eligible team as they move towards Tokyo 2020.

The money raised through this GoFundMe page covered the flight, visa, passport and food costs for George to attend this regatta. Thanks again for your support!

Cheers,
Tara
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Wow! I had an amazing time in Vanuatu last week and over the weekend.

The area where the club is situated is just beautiful and should be on everyone's list of places to row at least one. Once you row here you will want to come back again, again and again.

There are three para-rowers currently training at the club - 2 x LTA and 1 x TA. The club is very inclusive and the coaches and other athletes were more than helpful with helping the para athletes on and off the water.

The program is definitely in good hands but there are still challenges around funding for the program and the club in general.

My head is bursting with ideas so will work through these and see where I can assist further. Watch this space.

I am counting down to my next visit and can't wait to get back there.

Thank you all for your very generous donations.
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$2,110 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 25 people in 25 months
Created May 16, 2016
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EW
$120
Eryn Werry
21 months ago

This is so great Tara!

$700
Anonymous
25 months ago
$50
Anonymous
25 months ago
NB
$50
Nathan Burraston
25 months ago

Thanks Tara

NM
$20
natasha mudri
25 months ago

great cause

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