Chair­man pro­motes healthy life­style

South Taranaki Star - - YOUR RACE, YOUR PACE -

A year into run­ning, spin, core and step classes has a group of grass roots fit­ness buffs trans­form­ing their lives. IronMaori Ki Haw­era Whanau Train­ing and Sup­port was formed to cre­ate a fam­ily-based, non-judg­men­tal en­vi­ron­ment to sup­port all lev­els, sizes and ages.

On Labour week­end Ngati

Ruanui hosted its bi­en­nial Ngati Ruanui Fes­ti­val, named af­ter their Iwi ma­tri­arch Rua­puta­hanga.

’’The event at­tracts just un­der a thou­sand Ngati Ruanui de­scen­dants com­ing to­gether to cel­e­brate and com­pete in Kapa Haka, speeches, de­bates, touch, net­ball, volleyball, ta­ble ten­nis and triathlon,’’ chair­man of Te Ru­nanga o Ngati Ruanui

Hai­mona Maruera said.

This year in­cluded a mini-tri, which in­volves a 300-me­tre swim, 5km cy­cle and 2km run/walk.

‘‘We have been long-stand­ing sup­port­ers of IronMaori as we can see the pos­i­tive im­pact it has on our peo­ple’s health and well­be­ing,’’ Maruera said. ‘‘So in­clud­ing mini-tri makes sense. It com­ple­ments IronMaori Taranaki, which we are spon­sors of, and shows as an Iwi we proac­tively en­cour­ag­ing healthy life-style choices.

‘‘There’s too much fo­cus on cure and not pre­ven­tion.

‘‘Of course’’ he said, ‘‘our mini­tri also cre­ates the best vibes. The whanau sup­port­ing on the day are fan­tas­tic, the sup­port­ers cheers are deaf­en­ing, ev­ery­one gets in be­hind par­tic­i­pants young and old, all lev­els, on all sort of bikes.

‘‘It’s a real pos­i­tive at­mos­phere, and amongst all the fun the next re­lay team, or in­di­vid­ual triath­lete is formed.’’

‘‘This is why we’ve been so sup­port­ive of the Ki Whanau Gym and its vol­un­teers. The gym pro­vides a non-judge­men­tal, car­ing en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages those who are want­ing to en­ter tri events and have fun.

’’We could see our mini-tri spring board­ing in­ter­est into IronMaori Taranaki and IronMaori quar­ters, half and Iron­Man.

’’I be­lieve as Iwi lead­ers we need to pro­mote and sup­port ini­tia­tives that are driven from the ground up, as the heart of com­mu­ni­ties know what they need.

‘‘The gym presents a per­fect model of a com­mu­nity tak­ing charge of its well­be­ing. We look at the num­bers at­tend­ing, the full classes of spin pro­vides Mon­day, Tues­day and Thurs­day nights, with our own whanau in­struct­ing and think ‘wow now that’s Whanau Ora’. Healthy whanau make healthy com­mu­ni­ties and that’s a win/win for us all.

‘‘The week­end was a huge suc­cess, with many com­ment­ing it was the best Ngati Ruanui Fes­ti­val we’ve ever had. The ex­cit­ing as­pect of this year’s Ngati Ruanui fes­ti­val is that all the win­ners go for­ward to rep­re­sent Ngati Ruanui at Taranaki Tuu Mai Event, which Te Korowai o Nga Ruahine are host­ing next year.

‘‘So we’re ex­pect­ing to see a lot more whanau in the gym train­ing in prepa­ra­tion next year …Ti­hei Mauri Ora.’’

‘‘We need to pro­mote and sup­port ini­tia­tives that are driven from the ground up.’’ Hai­mona Maruera

Award win­ners pose for pho­tographs af­ter a suc­cess­ful week­end of com­pe­ti­tion.

From Left Karen Kumeroa, Bronte Gorham and Peter Thom­spon. make their way round the course.

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