Vi­brant team is top

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Taka­puwahia Marae’s el­ders proved they can learn new tricks last month by win­ning a North Is­land- wide Kau­matua Olympics com­pe­ti­tion in Palmer­ston North de­spite never hav­ing com­peted be­fore.

Twenty lo­cal kau­matua, mostly in their 70s, smashed the op­po­si­tion in ac­tiv­i­ties such as ku­mara egg- and­spoon races, a mo­bil­ity scooter ob­sta­cle course and hangi stonethrow­ing. The marae’s ‘‘A’’ team of 10 el­ders came away cham­pi­ons at the April 27 event. They called them­selves the Ngati Toa Uenuku (rain­bows), and dressed the part in neon wigs and feather boas.

‘‘ We were there to have fun, we didn’t care if we won or lost,’’ or­gan­iser Jane Ed­wards, 74, says.

The Olympics’ theme this year was hau ora ( health) and Mrs Ed­wards is cer­tain the com­pe­ti­tion did her good. ‘‘Laugh­ter is good for the soul and I haven’t laughed that much for a long, long time,’’ she says.

Mrs Ed­wards was a key con­trib­u­tor to her team’s suc­cess. ‘‘I got the prize for the most en­er­getic kau­matua,’’ she says.

Rain­bow brights: A team of Taka­puwahia Marae’s el­ders call­ing them­selves Uenuku (Rain­bows) beat 230 of their con­tem­po­raries at a Kau­matua Olympics event in Palmer­ston North last month. Repris­ing their ku­mara egg-and-spoon race are, from left, Waina Wil­liams, Jane Ed­wards and Pep France.

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