A TEAM of kayakers took to the water for a charity event for exercise promoting mental and physical health, teamwork and new friendships last Thursday.
The event was hosted by the Change Foundation, a charity that uses sport and mentoring to change the lives of marginalized youth.
The seven kayaks depart between Palace and West jetties for a 45-minute kayaking session.
The event was part of the London Futures charity program, which targets young people with intellectual disabilities facing social isolation and loneliness and aims to reduce anxiety, stress and develop life skills through sport.
Ryan Jones, Disability Program Manager at The Change Foundation, said it was a great day for challenges.
He said: “It was a celebration that brought our young people together after months of isolation.
“It was about giving them something to look forward to, building their self-confidence and taking on new challenges. ”
“Besides being fun, they then got the new experience of being on the water – especially since a couple admitted they can’t swim, but they all took the opportunity and found they had mastered a new skill. ”
James Wischhusen, head of disability inclusion for the charity, said the experience was invaluable in terms of life skills.
He said: “Kayaking, like any physical activity that takes people out of their comfort zone, provides life skills.
“If you are successful at something that you are not used to, it really helps you in so many other ways.”
Joe Williams, head instructor at Brighton Watersports, said they had a blast on the water.
He added: “The group had a blast and rowed hard against a sea breeze that took them over the horizon.
“Kayaking offers the benefits of physical activity, along with the intuitive awareness of the boat and your surroundings, as well as the calming nature of being on the water.”
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