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Ngātiwai Rangatahi takes out gold for Oceania weightlifting

Ngātiwai Rangatahi takes out gold at the Oceania weightlifting championships

Ngātiwai rangatahi and Whangarei Boys’ High School NCEA Level 3 prefect Taiao Corditz-Kawiti has returned from the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in New Caledonia (May 25-June 1) with a gold medal.

The 17-year-old took out the Youth 94kg-and-under division ahead of a Tuvaluan competitor with a lift of 120kgs in the clean and jerk; and 90kgs in the snatch for a winning total of 210kgs.

Sponsored by the Ngātiwai Trust Board, the Whangarei Boys’ High prefect with support from whanau and Far North Crossfit, says the trip to New Caledonia with the New Zealand team was a “huge” learning experience for him.

“I gave up rugby and took up weightlifting while I was studying at Auckland Grammar just over a year ago before returning home to Whangarei to finish off my high school studies,” he says.

“It was a pretty awesome week and I got to train and compete with the best weightlifters from NZ, Australia, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the rest of the Pacific region. I had to wait a whole week before lifting in my Youth 94kg weight class but it was worth it when I walked away with the gold medal.”

While he was pipped at the post in winning the sole Youth Olympics weightlifting spot by Auckland’s Cameron McTaggart he has his sights firmly on taking out a top place at the North Island Championships later this month in Wellington before the national championships.

“I’m pretty serious about my lifting, currently I train around six-days a week with coaches Rory Taylor and Jake Lawgun at the Northland Olympic Weightlifting Club. I’m looking at going to Massey University, Albany in 2015 so that I can train under New Zealand’s top lifter and coach Richie Patterson,” he says.

He aims to study journalism or psychology at Massey University which has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ngātiwai to provide educational opportunities for Iwi rangatahi.

“I am grateful for the fantastic support given to me by Ngātiwai and for helping me with the sponsorship funding,” he says.

“I whakapapa to Ngatiwai through my great grandfather, Pita Remo Wetere of Ngaiotonga, and also through my great great grandmother Maarara Maihi Mahanga of Taiharuru and was proud to represent Ngātiwai and my country on the international stage.”


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