Come and try outrigger canoeing at the Waroona Paddling Festival

Published on Friday, 3 March 2023 at 2:26:22 PM

Paddlers from around Western Australia will join the Waroona community at Drakesbrook Weir on Sunday 26 March 2023 for the inaugural Waroona Paddling Festival.

The festival will see outrigging clubs from South Yunderup, Fremantle, Perth, Bunbury, Mandurah and Rockingham enjoy open training sessions and friendly sprint races on Drakesbrook Weir, an irrigation weir collecting the water overflow from the Waroona Dam.

Shire President Mike Walmsley encouraged the community to come out to have a try of outrigger canoeing, with a free public instructional session being conducted by the Kwillana Va’a club from 10am.

“The experienced Kwlliana Va’a team will be inviting the public onto the boats to learn the sport of outrigger canoeing. You’ll be shown how to hold a paddle, correct paddling technique and how to stay in time with the rest of the crew. There will even be a sports commentator on the water’s edge explaining the skills you’ll need to be successful paddler. Plus, the more confident volunteers will be given the opportunity to race off against their friends!” Cr Walmsley said.

With opportunities to participate for every age group and ability, the Waroona Paddling Festival is an ideal family day out. Those wanting some more fun on the water can enjoy free kayak hire throughout the morning, while anyone preferring to stay on the land can take part in free lawns games, music and dance or purchase refreshments from the Lions BBQ trailer and Sip Coffee Van.

Cultural performances from the Southside Cook Island Dance Troupe on the banks of Drakesbrook Weir will bring to life the culture of canoeing and its linkages to Polynesian communities. As many seasonal workers employed within the Shire hail from the Pacific Islands, the Festival aims to offer them a taste of home, while celebrating our multicultural workforce.  

Waroona Paddling Festival Event Program:

8.00am - 10am:                    Open training session for outrigger canoe clubs. Free kayak hire.

10am:                                   Official opening with a Welcome to Country by local Aboriginal Elder, Robert Jetta and welcome by Shire President, Mike Walmsley.

10.10am:                              Cultural dance performances by the Southside Cook Island Dance Troupe.

10.30am -11.30am:              Public come-and-try session and introduction to outrigger canoeing.

11.30am - 12.00pm:             Friendly ‘races’ with public participants.

The Waroona Paddling Festival is brought to you by the Shire of Waroona and has been generously supported by the Australian Sports Commission.  

Back to All News