A day on the water for the kids

Published on SBLT Kat Mulheron (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Cerberus

Challenge-Kid, Adam (centre) with Cerberus water ski members Seaman Luke Bonanno and Seaman Phillip Murray enjoy a ride on one of the water biscuit provided by the Cerberus Water Ski Club at the National Watersports Centre, Bangholme, Victoria. (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
Challenge-Kid, Adam (centre) with Cerberus water ski members Seaman Luke Bonanno and Seaman Phillip Murray enjoy a ride on one of the water biscuit provided by the Cerberus Water Ski Club at the National Watersports Centre, Bangholme, Victoria.

HMAS Cerberus Water Ski Club has started the year with a splash, in a day to support children and families with cancer.

The club, for Navy members at the Navy's largest training establishment, joined with the Carrum Water Ski Club and the Challenge organisation to host a day of water activities at the National Water Sports Centre in Bangholme, Victoria.

For more than a decade the Cerberus Water Ski Club has helped host a special day for children with cancer or a life threatening blood disorder and their families, offering them a chance to simply have fun, be kids and let the worries of their illness take a back seat for a moment.

Challenge endeavours to provide daily support for children and families living with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder, from the time of diagnosis through treatment and beyond and offers a range of programs and services aimed at improving the wellbeing of the whole family.

“Experiences such as this provide a welcome distraction from the daily difficulties experienced by children living with cancer," Challenge chief executive officer David Rogers said.

"Being a family day, the event allowed mums, dads and siblings some time to enjoy activities as a family.

"This can be a rare experience for these families with the complexities of treatment and regular hospital visits.

"For our members to be able to participate in a variety of water activities was a fantastic opportunity [and I extend] a big thank you to everyone involved.”

For the Navy members of the Cerberus Ski Club the activity ranked as one of the best ways to spend a day at work on the water.

Children were treated to a day of cruising in boats and being towed on large ski biscuits.

Early in the day a club member tagged along on the rides for moral support, but it wasn’t long before eagerness won over caution and the Ski Club’s members were happily set adrift.

“It was fantastic to see the change in the kids, from being very quiet to coming out of their shells with lots of running around and laughing,” Cerberus Water Ski Club president Lieutenant Adam Attwood said.

 More information about Challenge can be found at: www.challenge.org.au