Scenic Rim sportspeople can try their hand at canoe polo during introductory sessions to be held over the next two weeks on Wednesday from 6-7pm at the Boonah Pool.
Learn all you need to know about the action-packed adaptation of water polo from the experienced instructors at the Broken Paddle Canoe Club as part of Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Healthy and Active Program.
Typically played by 5-a-side on a 30 metre field with the goals hung up in the air at each end, canoe polo combines paddling and ball handling skills in a contact team game where tactics and positional play are as vital as the speed, fitness and strength of individual players.
Treasurer Rob Wigginton said it was the ideal activity for anyone seeking adventure or looking to have a go at a new hobby and he encouraged anyone interested to join in.
“There are not many people who come along that don’t enjoy it,” he said.
“It is a very popular sport in Europe and parts of Asia and New Zealand, and international championships are held.”
Mr Wigginton said players of all ages could take part but the game was best suited to those aged 10 years and over because they could develop the skills necessary to really enjoy themselves
He said the club possessed lightweight boats and paddles for juniors and all canoes had rounded tips and edges to limit the risk of damage or injury from collision.
“At a high level it is a full-on physical contact sport but we look after our novices,” he said.
“It requires great skill, core strength and aerobic fitness.
“Our first group of Healthy Active participants all said they needed a lot more core strength.”
He said the club, which was incorporated in 2002 and has 25 regular members, was started to allow locals who were working at the Scenic Rim’s many outdoor education centres to hone their skills and become qualified in various pursuits.
Throughout the year, excursions to the region’s waterways are held, so members can practise paddling, sea kayaking or hit the white water.
Mr Wigginton said the club had supported the Healthy and Active program for four years but this was the first time canoe polo had been offered.
He said the program was a great initiative and it was hoped the club would see an influx of new members as a result of its participation.
He also thanked Scenic Rim Regional Council for providing a grant recently, which enabled the purchase of a set of boats and a trailer.
Mayor Greg Christensen said council’s Be Healthy and Active program was not only about encouraging individual fitness across all age groups and abilities but also strengthening community connections through an array of affordable activities.
"Our region's spectacular scenery and natural environment and our public places and spaces provide the perfect backdrop for a healthier and more active lifestyle,” he said.
"Whether it's something as energetic as canoeing or as effortless as playing cards, I encourage everyone to make the most of this year's Be Healthy and Active Program and to enjoy the benefits of improved physical and mental well-being."
In the past, outfits from the Broken Paddle Canoe Club have taken on rivals from the other Queensland clubs in state competitions, and individuals have been selected to represent Queensland at National Championships.
Mr Wigginton said he would love to see membership numbers build up again, so teams could be taken to higher levels of competition.
He said four ladies were currently involved and only a couple more were needed to field Broken Paddle’s first ever women’s side.
“It would be great to have a women’s team,” Mr Wigginton said.
“It has never been done before.
“The last time we had inter-club activity was 2016.”
The Healthy and Active sessions are on this Wednesday and next Wednesday at the Boonah Pool from 6pm-7pm.
Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
For more information, phone 0490 011 570.