We're applying for this grant to help us build two new canoe trailers which will allow us to transport our canoes across the country to newly developing areas where we can hold clinics and run competitions. The canoes are around 11 metres long and weigh in at close to 180kgs each so we need to design and build a strong trailer that will not only be safe but also efficient and capable of holding our equipment. As a NFP, volunteer organisation, finding the funds to construct such a trailer has been extremely difficult, meaning that so far, our competitions are limited to the areas with the most canoes, namely Suva, the capital. We really want to open up our sport to all areas of the country and creating two good trailers will help us do just that. Outrigger paddling is a truly accessible sport for all people of the community, from men and women(one of the only activities in Fiji that truly promotes the participation of both genders) to kids and handicapped persons (we've recently run a series of awesome fun days with the local gospel school for the deaf and are hoping to continue this work around Fiji. Environmentally, the sport exposes participants to the beauty of the ocean and we're often accompanied by dolphins, fish, manta rays and even whales. When you see such beauty on a daily basis it become only natural to want to protect it.
Fiji Outrigger. Fiji Outrigger is the head group of paddlers who have been chosen to form a national body to make sure the sport of outrigger canoeing continues to grow and develop. Made up entirely of volunteers, Fiji Outrigger works desperately hard to build the sport which is one of the only sports in Fiji in which women participants outnumber the men!!! It harbors great gender equality in a country which is still a long way behind in achieving the UN's MDG number 5, promoting gender equality. Paddling creates great respect for the ocean and its many moods and gives people a chance to realise why it must be protected at all costs, especially in an island nation such as Fiji. Outrigger canoeing or Va'a is a fun and energizing sport and lifestyle! It fits perfectly into our island culture and offers an outdoor activity which develops strong bodies and minds. This is because it is a sport which is physically and mentally demanding. Outrigger canoeing requires a great deal of personal and team commitment and attracts people who possess these qualities coupled with a love for the ocean and its environment. The sport offers an easy learning curve which allows people from all walks of life, gender and age, the opportunity to participate in a safe and exciting team oriented water sport. Solo outrigger canoeing further adds to the attraction by offering a means to compete and train on an individual basis without the restrictions of meeting fixed training times and days. Paddling becomes more of a lifestyle than a sport, in fact in a number of Fijian Islands canoes provide the sole means of transport for fishing and travel between villages. The demands of training and obtaining a level of fitness necessary to compete require many hours on and off the water. Its opportunity to travel, meet and make a wide and varied number of friendships both within Fiji and around the Pacific. http://www.fijioutrigger.com
Fiji Outrigger National Canoe Centre and Wailoaloa Beach Nadi. The Trailers will housed in Suva and Nadi when not in use. In Suva the will be stored in our National Canoe Centre (a compound which houses all our canoes and equipment in the East) In Nadi, our new base in the west, we will house the trailer at the Nadi Bay Canoe Club, one of our new clubs which is growing quickly.
Yes. Given the special nature of the trailers to be built we would love some assistance in the design phase to ensure that the trailers are safe, structurally sound and capable of transporting the canoes, along with our equipment around the rough, pothole riddled roads of Fiji. We have examples of other canoe trailers from around the globe which we would like to use as templates though it would be great to design something which would be specifically tailored to our needs and incorporate a pacific style!!!
Yes. There are a number of great welders and metal workers in our organisation who would be able to construct the trailers according to a specific design. We'd love to see the labour and construction costs go to the local community where it would make a huge difference!!!