Iwi battle in sport challenge
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,
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.
Kı¯-o-rahi, a traditional Ma¯ ori team game, being played at last year’sTu¯ wharetoa Marae Sports Challenge.
Competition between the 21 marae-based teams is always strong.
The challenges are mental as well as physical.