Wellington Scoop

New building for Worser Bay Boating Club will also house education centre

News from Worser Bay Boating Club
A multipurpose sport and education facility is to begin construction at Worser Bay in Wellington after three years of planning by Worser Bay Boating Club and the Wellington City Council.

Not only will the new facility house the Worser Bay Boating Club, but it will also be the centre for a Boat & Beach Wise schools programme and a Central New Zealand youth sailing hub.

“We have designed the building and surrounding site works so that they include a series of spaces that schools from the greater Wellington region can use to help keep kiwi kids safe and active in and around the sea” explained Worser Bay Boating Club Commodore Dean Stanley.

“We are particularly excited about the plans that the Wellington City Council have commissioned which include spaces for a penguin hotel, paua nursery, snorkelling trail and anemone garden. Local school kids will be involved in establishing these aspects of the Boat & Beach Wise Centre, then will be responsible for monitoring their success in improving marine biodiversity into the future”.

The Boat & Beach Wise Centre will include an inside ‘wet’ classroom and an outdoors ‘dune’ classroom in which Wellington school kids will be taught water skills for life while developing an understanding of how to restore and look after coastal ecosystems.

It is not only Wellington school children who stand to benefit as the Boat & Beach Wise Centre also includes state of the art facilities designed to support youth sailors from Central New Zealand to stay active in the sport of sailing and succeed on the international stage.

“Sailing is like a lot of other sports in that we see a large drop off in youth participating in the sport as they enter their teen age years” explained Stanley.

The Central New Zealand youth sailing hub is a collaboration with Yachting New Zealand that is designed to turn this trend around by providing a mixture of sport science and coaching support to help young sailors bridge the gap from junior sailing to lifelong sailing.

“By providing a series of camps each year for youth sailors close to their home clubs we intend to increase the number of sailors sticking with our sport and at the same time grow the number of youth sailors from Central New Zealand that make it into national teams.”

A charitable trust called the Worser Bay Argosy Trust has been established to oversee the development of the schools and youth programmes and to find business and philanthropic support for their implementation.

“In setting up the Worser Bay Argosy Trust we looked-for trustees with a broad community background and a range of experiences to ensure the new facility becomes much more than simply a clubroom” said Stanley.

“Our local Member of Parliament Paul Eagle and Worser Bay School Principal Jude Pentecost are two of the seven trustees that bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the sport and education sectors to the task of establishing and governing the schools and youth programmes”.

Not surprisingly Worser Bay Boating Club also stands to benefit from the project. The existing 60-year-old building is earthquake prone, no longer complies with parts of the building code and is increasingly susceptible to storm damage as sea level rise starts to impact on Wellington City.

“The capacity for boat storage will increase in the new building meaning the club will be able to cater to the increasing demand for this service as Wellington’s population continues to grow” explained Stanley. “The modern self-catering kitchen and flexible hall and classroom spaces will greatly improve our ability to offer these facilities for use by other community groups and by the Wellington businesses that support the schools and youth programmes.”

The Wellington City Council is well advanced with plans for the site works around the new building which includes a new boat ramp, a raised rigging area, extended rescue boat breastwork and rock revetment around the carparking area.

“Assuming all of the improvements that the Council have planned make it through the long-term planning process then they are going to be of great assistance to the club in providing opportunities for more Wellingtonians to safely enjoy Te Whanganui a Tara” said Stanley. “We can’t wait to get underway!”

Work will begin on the project in April and is planned to be completed for the start of summer 2019.