January 18, 2021
Ancestral pride on show at Aotearoa Waka Ama Nationals
The taitamariki have had their time on the water and now the older age grades are wielding their paddles for the 32nd Waka Ama Sprint Nationals on Lake Karapiro.
Te Mete Lowman, who is observing proceedings, says seeing the more than 750 under-10s on the water gave him a sense of how waka ama connected them to their ancestors.
He says many teams practice on their ancestral awa, and when they come to the nationals the pride they have in their rohe and iwi gives them an extra sense of competition.
Today has been for the intermediate classes and the J16 races, with more than 2100 paddlers competing.
Mr Lowman says the youngest paddler was 5 and the oldest registered for the regatta is almost 90.
He says after a year in which so many events were cancelled because of COVID-19, it’s great that people are again able to gather in numbers and catch up with their whanaunga.
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