December 30, 2021
Māori basketball slam dunks Covid
Organisers of the annual Māori basketball tournament are charging ahead with next month’s event despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the week from January 24 to 29 Rotorua will host more than 2,200 players from 276 teams including 23 representing their iwi .
Poitūkohu Māori Aotearoa tournament director Sue Pene says it’s a privilege to stage the event but the responsibility isn’t taken lightly.
The pandemic has already forced the cancellation of several major Māori sports fixtures including the tennis and waka ama sprint nationals.
Rotorua Lakes is at orange in the traffic light Covid-19 protection framework, which means sporting events can go ahead with My Vaccine Pass requirements and restrictions.
Sue Pene says because the tournament is split across five venues – Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua Girls’ High School, John Paul College, Western Heights High School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu – numbers can be kept within the restricitons.
The competition will also be held in two parts – under 7s to under 15s from Monday to Wednesday, and all other grades from Thursday to Saturday.
Te Tai Tokerau and Tanui have withdrawn their iwi teams because of the Covid risk.