January 16, 2020
Pakeke efforts lauded at waka ama nationals
Taitamariki and rangatahi are back on the beach and it’s now time for the adults to show what they’ve got in in the 31st wake ama sprint nationals at Lake Karapiro.
The senior races yesterday brought out four paddlers who have competed in every waka ama sprint championship held in New Zealand Louise Henderson, Corrina Gage, Mātahi Brightwell, and James Papali’i.
There were also some novice paddlers showing their skills or lack of in the corporate races, with teams from sponsors including Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Sport New Zealand â€“ Ihi Aotearoa, Waikato Tainui, Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Fonterra, Eastern Institute of Technology, Māori Television, National Hauora Coalition, Contact Energy, and KiwiRail.
Lara Collins from Waka Ama New Zealand says today’s line-up includes the W6 and W12 turns races, which are always crowd favourites.
Many of the paddlers will be looking to secure their places for the world sprint championships in Hawaii in August.
She says there is more to waka ama than racing.
“We teach our tamariki about being safe on the awa, the moana, respecting the other paddlers, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, those are some of the values we really instil in all paddlers who take part in our sport,” Ms Collins says.
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