Fancy playing cricket on the Murray River? How about chasey or a game of tag?
Lyall Willis does all that and more – in an open top kayak – as part of a Communities for Children-funded program run at Murray Bridge.
Beyond Kayaking has engaged about 1000 adults and children since it began eight years ago.
The initial aim was to bring families together for fun on the water but the program has achieved much more, says Lyall, a Family Practitioner at Centacare.
In addition to building confidence, communication skills and resilience in children aged up to 12 years, Beyond Kayaking nurtures mindfulness parenting.
This strengthens familial bonds and helps to hone parenting skills.
“It’s not just about the kids, it’s about the parents having a break as well, and the kids are part of that which is pretty unique,” Lyall says.
“There’s a mutual encouragement and respect built between them. Parents will say it’s the highlight of their week to be able to come out here, because the kids just want to be part of something with them.
“It’s great to see parents have a new level of engagement with their child in an environment that they’re both not 100 per cent confident in, and for the kids to look to their parent for that safety and guidance.”
For more information about Beyond Kayaking and where to find Lyall, phone our Murray Bridge office 8215 6320.