St. Bernard School forms paddle team for Petite Tour du Teche
Breaux Bridge – St. Bernard School, which sits on Bayou Teche and has a long tradition of holding group paddles for students, has put together a team to compete in the Petite Tour du Teche on June 29 and 30.
The students formed a paddle club with the help of Coach Cory Werk from Bayou Teche Experience, a United States Canoe Association (USCA) Certified Instructor.
This is the second youth team formed for Petite Tour du Teche, the first being from the Chitimacha reservation at Charenton.
Petite Tour du Teche is a series of short races for paddlers ages 5 to 17. Distances range from 250 yards to 1 mile. The longer races are done in legs, so that all of the action takes place at Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux, where family and friends can watch all the action.
The youth race is affiliated with Tour du Teche, a three-day series of marathons in October that has gained international recognition.
St. Bernard School was started by the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1891 when paddling the bayou for transportation was a way of life.
Encouraged by the success of the first Tour du Teche in 2010, Werk, a Californian, established Bayou Teche Experience in the shadow of the school. He rents kayaks and leads paddle trips on the bayou and surrounding waters.
“It was a perfect situation – a school with a history along Bayou Teche, Coach Cory Werk, and the Petite Tour du Teche, a kids paddle competition, all in the same location in downtown Breaux Bridge,” said Brent Miller, one of the adult organizers.
“It was a situation we had to take advantage of and hopefully other schools in the area will follow to increase the competitive spirit.”
Tour du Teche is also holding a camp for young paddlers at Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux June 24–28, the week leading up to the Petite TDT. The camp is for ages 12 to 17 but younger paddlers are accepted if they are members of a paddle team. Skills covered include bicycle safety, first aid and CPR as well as paddling. Sessions will be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. The cost is $200 per participant and includes lunch, equipment rental, and first aid/CPR certifications.
Registration closes June 21. Last day to register via postal mail is June 14. Any registrations after June 14 should be faxed or e-mailed.
For more information go to www.tourduteche.com or call Executive Director Nicole Patin at (337) 789-0319.