Iwi bat­tle in sport chal­lenge

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

Over 21 teams from Nga¯ ti

Tu¯ whare­toa iwi will be bat­tling it out for top spot at the

Tu¯ whare­toa Marae Sports Chal­lenge 2019 on Fri­day Jan­uary 4 and Satur­day Jan­uary 5 in Tu¯ ran­gi­tukua Park,

Tu¯ rangi.

They’ll be hop­ing to take the cham­pi­onship ti­tle away from Pakira Marae, which has held strong to the Over­all Par­tic­i­pa­tion ti­tle two years in a row.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion is the fo­cus at this an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of sport, wha¯ nau and to­geth­er­ness, now in its 16th year. It cov­ers a di­verse range of sports, games and ac­tiv­i­ties, and at­tracts a huge crowd of sup­port­ers and spec­ta­tors — last year close to 3000 peo­ple at­tended.

The an­nual sports chal­lenge is held by Nga¯ ti Tu¯ whare­toa, whose rohe ex­tends from Maketu¯ through to Kaw­erau, down to Taupo¯ , Tu¯ rangi, to Feild­ing and Tau­marunui.

A huge va­ri­ety of phys­i­cally and/or men­tally chal­leng­ing games are played over the two­day event in­clud­ing k¯ı-o-rahi (a tra­di­tional Ma¯ ori ball game), mixed net­ball, vol­ley­ball, rugby, bas­ket­ball, ta­ble ten­nis and pe­tanque. Many of the sports games take place in the park. Other chal­lenges in­clude chess, iwi fit (a cross fit-style chal­lenge us­ing weights and gym equip­ment), pe­tanque, wha¯ nau re­lay and card game eu­chre.

The aim of the games is whakawha¯ naun­gatanga, to es­tab­lish re­la­tion­ships with each other by bring­ing peo­ple of all abil­i­ties back as one through sport. Both days are auahi kore — no smok­ing, drugs or al­co­hol and vi­o­lence free.

Tri­cia Mel­lon, the games co­or­di­na­tor, says to fur­ther de­velop whakawha¯ naun­gatanga among younger mem­bers of the iwi, they have in­cluded more games op­tions for young peo­ple.

“Last year we added more ta­mariki games in­clud­ing lit­tle vol­ley ball, lit­tle pe­tanque and ju­nior ver­sions of adult games. These were a great suc­cess and en­cour­aged a lot more ta­mariki to par­tic­i­pate and en­joy the event. We’ll be run­ning these games again this year and hope to have more chil­dren join in. It re­ally helps de­velop their con­fi­dence in them­selves and cre­ates a place for them in the event too.”

In ad­di­tion to the games, food and com­mu­nity stalls will also be op­er­at­ing along with en­ter­tain­ment, en­sur­ing a fun­filled cou­ple of days suit­able for ev­ery­one. A ta­mariki and kauma¯ tua area will also be avail­able.

The Tu¯ whare­toa Marae Sports Chal­lenge is held at

Tu¯ ran­gi­tukua Park on Jan­uary 4 and 5. The karakia be­gins at 8.30am in the park on the Fri­day morn­ing, fol­lowed by var­i­ous games through­out both days, and prize giv­ing is on the Satur­day evening.

■ For full de­tails of when and where all the games will be played visit www.face­book.com/ tuwhare­toa­ma­rae­s­ports2019.

Photo / Sup­plied

Kı¯-o-rahi, a tra­di­tional Ma¯ ori team game, be­ing played at last year’sTu¯ whare­toa Marae Sports Chal­lenge.

Photo / File

Com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the 21 marae-based teams is al­ways strong.

Photo / File

The chal­lenges are men­tal as well as phys­i­cal.

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