Club pad­dles to suc­cess

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Three ju­nior teams from Hawaik­inui Tuarua waka ama club have come home with two gold and two sil­ver medals from the sprint na­tion­als on Lake Kara­piro.

Coaches Den­nis Ngatai, Mandy Hat­ton, Ge­orge Fa’al­ogo and Grant Bar­rib­all – the lat­ter a world cham­pion him­self – have been train­ing the boys since Oc­to­ber, three times a week.

Many of the pad­dlers com­peted at the Vaka Eiva pad­dling com­pe­ti­tion in Raro­tonga in Novem­ber, gain­ing ex­cel­lent ex­pe­ri­ence against qual­ity op­po­si­tion, Hat­ton said.

At Kara­piro, from Jan­uary 18 till 22, the teams, colour­fully known as Don’t Touch My Food, took on the coun­try’s best and came away with bril­liant re­sults.

The in­ter­me­di­ate team (com­pris­ing pad­dlers aged 12) won gold in the W6 500m race and sil­ver in the W6 1000m events.

The J16 ( aged 13 to15) Green crew took out sil­ver in the W6 1000m, while the J16 Blue and Green teams com­bined to win gold in the W12 500m race.

The in­ter­me­di­ate team was Jor­don Birch, Manea Puati, Bray­den Iose, Mufu­taga Tau, Fa’ao­lataga Tau and Isaac Fa’al­ogo. They were na­tional champs in 2010, win­ning gold in the 500m and 1000m races, but this year had four new mem­bers.

Hat­ton said the new­com­ers had never pad­dled be­fore but were strong and com­pet­i­tive ath­letes.

The J16 Blue crew com­prised Teina Puati, Oliver Smith, Lewis Ngatai, Tane Lam­bie, Ja­saih Ione, Ihakara Ma­soe and Rino Ha­gai while the J16 Green team was made up of Greg Mor­gan, Ezra Fa’al­ogo, Dar­nell Teariki­aua, An­ton Tay­lor, Keenan Rogers and Ke­mara Hauiti-Para­para.

Hat­ton says while rugby, bas­ket­ball and swim­ming oc­cupy a lot of these boys’ time, waka ama is im­por­tant to them, too. They train hard, have fun, and are well-known for be­ing a ‘‘ram­bunc­tious’’ bunch.

‘‘Most of these young men, from both teams, have been pad­dling for a num­ber of years, which they en­joy in their off sea­son from win­ter sports,’’ Hat­ton said.

‘‘ They are keen to stay to­gether and build on their achieve­ments, and are look­ing for­ward to the 2012 na­tion­als and more in­ter­na­tional pad­dling events.’’

Hat­ton and her fel­low coaches said spon­sor­ship from Tim Mor­gan at On­line Se­cu­rity Ser­vices was cru­cial to en­able them to com­pete at Kara­piro.

Photo: MANDY HAT­TON

Round we go: The J16 (Green) team show the skills and strength needed to ex­e­cute the tricky turn dur­ing the 1000m fi­nal on Lake Kara­piro.

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