WOU: Capitalising on seafront campus for kayaking

The kayaking activity at the WOU campus seafront, now restricted to staff and students of the University and DISTED College, may be open to the public in the future for wider usage.

This was expressed by WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye when speaking at the official launch of the kayaking activity at the seafront today.

Prof Ho encourages the crowd to try kayaking.

Prof Ho encourages the crowd to try kayaking.

He said the University has created a subsidiary company, Essential Atlas, to take charge of the kayaking activity and make this activity safe for users. “Once a proper operating system is in place, then everyone can come anytime to enjoy the sporting facility.” He said they have to exercise caution as it involves public safety and insurance coverage, which comes with a cost.

He also gave the backdrop to how the idea of a kayak club and kayaking activities took root in the thinking of the WOU management. “We are one of the very few campuses in the country that is located so close to the sea. Our campus-by-the-sea is a selling factor as many students join WOU because they appreciate the ambience and environment. They feel very at home and relaxed studying here.”

A section of the crowd listening to Prof Ho expound on the benefits of kayaking.

A section of the crowd listening to Prof Ho expound on the benefits of kayaking.

Prof Ho added that the sport contributes to the co-curriculum activities of the University’s programme, and so encouraged the full-time students to take it up actively.

He also pointed out the many sporting advantages of kayaking, like building body muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness through regular paddling. He said paddlers however must always be mindful of their safety when kayaking out there in the sea.

He urged the crowd who had gathered for the launching ceremony, many of whom have not done kayaking, to start today and join the free kayaking sessions being offered after the launch, declaring, “Hopefully that will convert you into a long-term kayak user.”

Students of DISTED College signing up for free kayaking session.

Students of DISTED College signing up for free kayaking session.

Prof Ho also thanked the Yeap family, Yeap Leong Soon, who is a Director of the Wawasan Education Foundation, and Yeap Leong Gwan, for donating the eight kayaks and hoped to see greater usage of these facilities.

Accompanied by the iconic Hawaii Five-0 music soundtrack, Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff Isahak, Director of Academic Support and Continuing Professional Development, DISTED College, performed the ribbon-cutting to officially launch the kayaking activity at WOU.

Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff happily launch the kayaking event at WOU.

Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff happily launch the kayaking event at WOU.

The launch was attended by staff and students of WOU and DISTED, plus students and teachers of the Methodist Boys School who were visiting WOU and hence took the opportunity to go kayaking that morning.

Ch'ng Lay Kee, a staff of Wawasan Open University, and guest venture out to sea in a kayak.

Ch'ng Lay Kee, a staff of Wawasan Open University, and guest venture out to sea in a kayak.