On Friday 13th September, Alexandra Park played host to 40 Year 8 students from Diocesan as part of the school’s “New to You” Programme. This programme gives girls the opportunity to try something new and different and with Alexandra Park so close to the school it was a chance to learn about activities and facilities in the local area.
The programme offered was based on the very popular Kidz Kartz format which uses miniature horses and ponies to bring harness racing to younger people. The tutors were 24 ponies, 9 Kidz Kartz children and 11 adults from Counties and Cambridge Kidz Kartz. Even HRNZ Education and Training Manager Natalie Gameson came up to give support and guidance to the day.
The programme focused on teaching and building the basics of the sport in a fun learning environment. The usual Kidz Kartz course was modified to allow the students to have maximum time on task allowing them to work through grooming, anatomy, safety and confidence around horses, long reining to learn steering, gearing up and team work. All the girls, even though most had never touched a horse before, successfully drove on their own with some skill by the end of the day.
“Alexandra Park is a perfect venue” said Anne Phillips, “with the wonderful stable complex, the weather doesn’t have to be a concern and there is plenty of enclosed space for lots of fun activities in an environment that is supportive and safe.”
Alexandra Park as part of its Community Programme wants to collaborate with schools in order to deliver “Harnessing Your Horse Power” to as many kids as possible. CEO of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding says “Harnessing Your Horse Power” is a really important programme for youth as it’s foundation within the programme is to promote team work, collaboration, responsibility and commitment.”
Each student received a booklet about learning to drive, brochures, a Hot to Trot magazine and certificate. Overall it was a successful day for 40 students who have now had a successful and fun Harness Racing experience.
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