Aqua day a hit with Strandfontein youth

Standing at the back is Conroy Phillips. From left, are Kauthar Wildman, Netaneal Dyson, Zandre Marima, Zavier Prins, Igshaan Martin and Evandro Brandt. In the middle are Jadien Brandt and Yaseen Angus.

More than 300 children kayaked, surfed the waves, built sand castles and played games at 9Miles Project and Strandfontein Facilities Management Committee’s annual aqua day at Strandfontein Pavilion on Wednesday March 20.

All the children, aged between 10 and 15, had to take with were their swimming costumes, towel, bottle of water, sun hat and sunblock.

Many of them got onto a bus at different pick-up points in Strandfontein just after 7am to attend the programme, where they were supervised by volunteers.

They were also given refreshments.

The project, based at Strandfontein Pavilion, works with youth in coastal informal settlements and aims to provide mentorship and support to the at-risk youth in the areas of Cape Town, Elands Bay, and St Francis Bay.

For many of the youth it is a haven where they can take refuge and interact with positive role models.

Robert Quinn, chairman of the Strandfontein Facilities Management Committee, said they manage sports facilities and complexes in the area, by supporting clubs and developing youth, to keep them busy.

9Miles founder and director of operations, Nigel Savel, said: “We are a coastal community. We engage with youth other than in your mainstream sporting codes.”

The organisers had gone to neighbouring schools to invite pupils and to keep children off the streets for a day during the school holidays, which ends on Monday April 1.