On Saturday, September 7, ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ got their gear ready and enjoyed a day out on the water at an exclusive event held for them at Jordan Harbour Conservation Area. Niagara Rowing School and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) hosted the event to provide opportunities for program participants to use their facilities and experience the great outdoors.

“We are truly grateful for the kindness shared by the Niagara Rowing School and NPCA. It’s fantastic when members of our community share their time and resources to extend activities for our youth,” said Michelle Miller, President of BBBS North & West Niagara. “The volunteers from the Niagara Rowing School provided a safe and fun environment to experience kayaking, canoeing, dragon boats and paddle boarding! There is nothing more special than to see confident smiles on the children’s faces after demonstrating their courage to try something new.”

The warm weather created the perfect backdrop for dozens of matches as they picked their water crafts of choice and enjoyed the natural environment of Jordan Harbour. “I’m glad I have the ability to offer water-sport activities to youth who may not have had the opportunity to try them otherwise. We had a great turnout, where many of the Littles discovered new skills and talents within themselves,” said John Murphy, Owner/Operator of the Niagara Rowing School. “Witnessing the bonds between the mentors and mentees was wonderful.”

The inaugural event took place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with many water-sport activities made available to the Bigs and Littles.The day also included a free barbecue for everyone. “I had the pleasure of growing up in Lincoln and as a child, and at an early age, my parents purchased a canoe,” added Dave Bylsma, NPCA Board Chair. “We spent many days as a family travelling up and down the 15 Mile Creek, witnessing first-hand the natural beauty of the local waterways and wildlife. Thank you to John and Rejeanne at the Niagara Rowing School & Paddlesports Centre for recognizing the importance of these precious outdoor experiences, and I congratulate Big Brothers and Big Sisters for their ongoing commitment to children and youth across Niagara. The NPCA hopes to continue to be a partner in support of this worthy cause for many years to come.”

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