Blogs

Safety training a must

first_imgIf a BB gun is at the top of your child’s Christmas list, a Georgia 4-H gun safety expert urges you to put “target sport safety equipment” on that list, too. “As parents, we would never send our kids out to play in a little league football game without the proper protective equipment,” said Mark Zeigler, who coordinates the Georgia 4-H Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education program, or SAFE. “Target sports also require the proper protective gear, and the most important part of that gear is sound safety education.” More than 3,500 youths participate Zeigler leads the program’s certified coaches who are trained in youth development as well as shooting education and safety. SAFE coaches teach target sport safety to more than 3,500 students across Georgia. Although he didn’t have a BB gun as a child, Zeigler doesn’t discourage parents from buying one for their child. “It can be an appropriate gift when used under the supervision of an adult and if the child is taught basic firearm safety,” he said. “It’s paramount that children are properly educated first. I just can’t stress that enough.” 4-H’ers use the Daisy 499In the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie longed for “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, Range Model air rifle with a compass on the stock and this thing which tells time.” Unlike Ralphie, Georgia 4-H’ers use the Daisy 499 model, which is specifically designed for target sports, Zeigler said. “The 499 is so specific, it can’t be bought in stores,” he said. “It was designed specifically to support shooters competing in international BB championship matches.” Learning to concentrateThough the SAFE program teaches the safety aspects of shooting sports, he says the most important thing students learn has nothing to do with sports. “Studies have shown that participating in shooting sports helps kids improve their concentration levels and their grades,” he said. “And it’s the lowest injury rate sport. In 4-H, we teach firearms safety mirrored with youth development standards and principles.” Like most 4-H activities, students can compete in target sports on the regional, state and national levels. “Although competition isn’t the goal of the program, when used correctly, competition can help young people develop life sills and positive habits they can carry through life,” Zeigler said. The Georgia 4-H target sports program is open to fifth- through eighth-grade students for BB and through high school for other shooting sports like archery, rifle, pistol and shotgun. Many training opportunities existIn addition to Georgia 4-H, target sport safety training is available through Boy Scouts, the National Rifle Association and the Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Program. Conservation programs like Ducks Unlimited and The National Wild Turkey Federation also offer programs for youths to develop interest in shooting sports. For more information on the Georgia 4-H SAFE Program, contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

More jewels in the Crown

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

The getaway guide

first_imgDive into the deep South–Kathadi NorthIt was the perfect wind on the coast of Rameswaram that first brought Jehan Driver, 34, CEO, Quest Expeditions Private Limited, here on a kite surfing trip. This memory and the love for the sport led him to setup a quaint little resort Kathadi (Tamil,Dive into the deep South–Kathadi NorthIt was the perfect wind on the coast of Rameswaram that first brought Jehan Driver, 34, CEO, Quest Expeditions Private Limited, here on a kite surfing trip. This memory and the love for the sport led him to setup a quaint little resort Kathadi (Tamil for kite) North close to the town, three years ago. Surrounded by palm trees and a desolate beach just half a kilometre away, the space and the setting have a dream-like quality to them. “The beach is calm, with no waves April through September and we use it for leisure activities. Kite surfing, a more serious sport that requires training moves to the South side during these months,” explains Driver who also runs another property, Kathadi South, a basic campsite with beach huts. Kathadi North, though a boutique homestay, provides accommodation in its four huts with thatched roofs. Not suited to the palate of a luxury traveller, the resort is for lovers of water sports and those who are looking to spend their holiday by a pristine, undiscovered beach. The food is homely and served at an openair community table where your hosts Driver and Upasana Mody, 34, (both former residents of Mumbai) dine with you and regale you with tales of life in the Deep South. Choose from kayaking, snorkelling and Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) or short expeditions to explore the coast.Getting there: The closest airport Madurai is at a distance of 140 km. The closest railway station Rameswaram is at a distance of 30 kilometres. At Kathadi North, 1/1164 Meenavar Kadal Karai, Pirappan Valasai Village, Ramanathapuram; Price Rs 3,500 onwards for the stay and Rs 500 onwards for the activities; Tel 8657195551advertisementLive the Kapoor & Sons life–180 degrees McIver, Coonoor Remember the colonial bungalow the Kapoor family called their home in the film? Or the charm of the rustic villa you were privy to in Mani Rathnam’s latest Kaatru Veliyidai? This holiday, you can make a part of it yours and spend some quiet time in the sprawling gardens, taking in the 180 degree view of quaint little town of Coonoor. Thus named, 180 degrees McIver dates back to 1876 and was turned into a hotel by SerendipityO in 2010. The six spacious rooms, each one a different colour, were re-designed by a French designer and use antique furniture that adds to their colonial charm. The rooms take their names from the original owner’s estates-Blackwood, Creswell, Balfour, Cranley, Cromwell and Montecute. The property has a garden restaurant La Bella Vie that serves French, Continental and Indian food and a coffee shop that sells fresh bakes. Don’t worry about piling on the calories during your holiday as McIver also hosts yoga classes twice a week for its guests. “There’s been a lot of attention to the property after Kapoor & Sons and we often find passers by identifying McIver,” says Anita Mathias, manager, SerendipityO. Book your rooms early this summer, before other fans beat you to it.Getting there: The nearest airport, Coimbatore, is at a distance of 70 kilometres. The nearest train station is Coonoor that is served by the picturesque narrow gauge train (toy train) from Mettupalayam, located at a distance of 34 km. At 180 degrees McIver, 1-4, Orange Grove Road, Near SIM’s Park, Coonoor; Price Rs 4,000 onwardsAdventure filled weekends–Adventure zone, Chennai For those who don’t have a long summer holiday on the cards, here is how you can get your quick fix of adrenaline rush. Established in 2008 at Madhurantakam by Major Roy Swaraj Robert, Adventure Zone has been quite popular among corporates for their structured outbound training programs. On offer are activities such as rappelling, rock climbing, scuba diving, shooting, parasailing and even karaoke, and nature and birding tours. “I wouldn’t categorise any of the adventure activities as leisure though. You will be doing most things yourself with essential safety back up and it does get hot and sweaty,” says Major Roy, 53. You could plan a day-long activity trip or choose to stay in luxury air conditioned tents at the location. There is no fixed check-in or check-out time and no specific age-limit for the activities. Book your summer slots soon as everything is on a first come first serve basis.Getting there: Located at a distance of 40 km from Chennai; At 37, Cheyyur Road, Village Zameer Endathur, Taluk Madhurantakam; Details www.adventurezone.mysite.com; Price Rs 500 onwards for activities. Rs 2,200 per head for tent stay; Tel 94443 84608Holistic healing–Watsu, Pondicherry Leave your stress behind and enter the first Deepak Chopra Healing Centre for a rejuvenating holiday. It was last year that the Dune Eco Village and Resort partnered with the author and alternative-medicine advocate to add to its ayurvedic offerings and provide a healing experience to its patrons. The centre offers Chopra’s famous Perfect Health programme, both for short (a week) and longer durations. The space has a rather rustic appeal with thatched roofs, open-to-the-sky showers, traditional wooden steam chambers and plenty of tropical flowers in bloom. Therapies are carried out by trained Ayurvedic practitioners under the guidance of Dr Indira Priyadarshini on traditional massage tables in naturally ventilated rooms. The highlight is the Watsu, an aquatic bodywork form that uses zen shiatsu and acupressure in warm water to provide a relaxing and healing experience. Conducted by one of the only two licensed practitioners in the country in an exclusive heated, salt chlorinated pool at the centre, Watsu can be a transforming experience for most people. You are guided by the therapist who cradles, rocks and stretches through gentle, flowing movements in the water while you float on the surface. Your body moves towards a state of deep relaxation while your breathing is in rhythm with your therapist.advertisementGetting there: The closest airport is Chennai at a distance of 140 km. At Deepak Chopra Healing Centre, Dune Eco Village and Spa, East Coast Road, Pudhukuppam, Puducherry; Tel 91595 50341; Price Rs 1,500 onwardsLuxury at the foothills–Dvara, Siruvani Situated in the foothills at Siruvani near Coimbatore, Dvara is a boutique heritage resort that’ll make your vacation more luxurious. Taking its name from the word ‘door’, the first thing you will notice is, well, the doors. Sourced from numerous palatial homes of Chettinadu, each finely crafted wooden door has different patterns and is reminiscent of the heritage of the region. The property is warm and intimate with ten rooms, seven of which face the lake and give you a breathtaking view of the mountains. The large rooms are well-appointed with tastefully picked yet functional antique furniture. On request, your garden transforms into a private party venue with a dinner table setup and a portable barbecue grill you could spend the evening grilling at.Getting there: The closest airport and train station is Coimbatore located at a distance of 30 km. At Dvara, near Karunya Post, Siruvani; Tel 7339111222; Details www.dvara.in; Price Rs 10,000 onwardsDown by the river–Anaikatti There are things money can’t buy but then come along an experience like sipping coffee by the pool under a canopy of coconut and palm trees which almost makes you believe it can. And that is exactly why a weekend getaway to Anaikatti- by the Siruvani (a Sterling holidays resort), the newest property by Sterling Holidays, is a great idea if you’re looking for a break from the chaos of city life. The frustration that comes with being unable to use your phone, however, melts almost immediately as you step out of your car and onto the driveway. You’re greeted with a view of lush green trees, sounds of chirping birds and the river gushing by-just about everything you need to reconnect with life. The resort, which boasts of 33 rustic but well-equipped cottages, lies amidst the Silent Valley National Park, offering visitors a rich wildlife experience.advertisementGetting there: The resort is about 55 km from Coimbatore airport; At 6/301, Vadakottathara, Palakkad Dist, Kottathara, Kerala; Tel 04924227100’A cheese-making holiday–Cinnabar After you’ve had enough of walking around on the winding hill roads of the beautiful little town of Kodaikanal, there’s a chance to pick up a hobby or two. Cinnabar, a rustic homestay and cheese farm offers cheese making and baking classes. Started in 2003 by Bala Krishnan, the homestay has two rooms with Cypress wood ceilings and local Australian Blackwood floors insulated with coconut coir to help deal with the cold weather. Baking is a daily activity and guests can learn by being a part of the process in the evenings. If neither is your cup of tea, you could also take up a cookery class with the hosts.Getting there: The closest airport Madurai is at a distance of 116 kilometres. The closest train station is Kodai Road at a distance of 80 km; At Cinnabar, Chettiar Road, Kodaikanal; Tel 9842145220; Detals cin[email protected]; Price Rs 6,000 inclusive of breakfast and dinner for twoDip into culture–Svatma, Tanjore There isn’t a better holiday experience than one that takes you back in time. At Svatma, a heritage boutique hotel, your day begins with a session on veda chanting. Evenings are dedicated to in-house Veena concerts followed by a discussion on Indian ragas. Tanjore painting, bronze casting and handloom weaving demonstrations are part of your day as are cookery classes where you can make your own dosas. Getting there: The closest airport is Trichy at a distance of 48 kms from Thanjavur; At No. 4/116, Blake Higher Secondary School, M Chavadi, Tanjavur; Tel 04362273222; Details www.svatma.in; Price Rooms start at Rs 16,000 Suites start at Rs 21,000last_img read more