Dads ‘wake’ up to fun at Cables in Penrith

One of the Dodgy Dads coaches, Carson Desjardins, at Cables Wake Park in Penrith.
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Calling all dodgy dads! If you’ve been wanting to try something new, Cables Wake Park has just the thing for you.

This month, Cables Wake Park has kick started their Dodgy Dads sessions, for pros and rookies alike to hone their skills in a slower-paced, supportive environment.

Going along with the club’s family-orientated nature, the idea for their Dodgy Dads sessions came from Kids Club.

“We run Kids Club every Saturday and Sunday morning here at Cables Wake Park from 8.30am to 10am before the cable opens – we run it at a slower speed, we have a buggy in the back corner that helps pick the equipment up for them to save their energy, and it’s more supportive and inclusive,” said coach Rob Moulton.

“A lot of the parents were just standing on the side watching, and getting really intrigued with how we were teaching the kids, how supportive we were, and would comment, ‘We’d love to do this’, and I’d say, ‘OK, the park opens at 10, go and buy a ticket and I’ll see you down here’, and they’d say, ‘No, no, like this. As a group, all supportive’. So, we started Dodgy Dads!”

The session enables men to get involved in an activity they may have thought they’d never be able to – away from the stresses of day-to-day life.

“There are no kids around, no work, nothing else, it’s about them knowing that someone’s focusing on me, and supporting me to be as successful as I can on my first go,” Mr Moulton said.

Upon entering the club, participants are assured that safety is paramount – being fitted for a helmet and life vest, and taught the basics to help them navigate around the lake.

Aside from this, Mr Moulton’s main focus is ensuring inclusivity and support, encouraging participants without pushing them beyond their limits.

“It’s about raising people up to get better,” he said.

“If someone’s never worn a life vest before, that’s a positive action, they’ve taken courage to come down and do something new for themselves. If you fail something the first time you do it, you’ve still learned something, you’re progressing each stage.”

It’s because of this that Mr Moulton says he’s seen participants reap benefits outside of just fun and fitness.

“One thing that surprised me was that I’ve had dads come back to me saying that they didn’t realise how much it would help their mental health,” he said.

“They’re just being so open, they got to meet new people, doing the same activity, going through the same aversions. The sharing, the inclusiveness, and them opening up, they said it really helped blow off some steam.”

The first session, held on Monday, saw 12 participants attend, despite the overcast weather. With weekly sessions ahead, Mr Moulton wants all men, not just dads, to come out and give it a go.

“As long as you can swim, I’d encourage everyone to do it,” he said.
Dodgy Dads sessions are held on Mondays from 5pm to 7pm at Cables Wake Park in Penrith.

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