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New Maori Sports Tournament launched

New Maori Sports Tournament launched

With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 wrapped up, Gisborne Year 7 and 8 rangatahi now have their own unique sporting tournament to look forward to!

It’s the first time a Tākaro Tawhito Traditional Maori Games Tournament has been held in the district and games on offer include well known Ki-o-Rahi and the lesser known Horohopu and Tapu Ae.

Turanga Health has created the event as part of its ongoing work to increase physical activity amongst rangatahi. It’s the first time Turanga Health has managed three different Tākaro Tawhito at one tournament. “We’ve taken some new, but old, games to local schools and taught the rangatahi (youth) and teachers how to play,” says Population Health Kaiāwhina Shane Luke. “The interest has been phenomenal and it made sense to end the module with a tournament where the tauira (students) can test their skills against other kura (schools).”

For nearly a century, traditional Māori games have been abandoned in favour of popular European games such as rugby, cricket and netball. But games like Tapu Ae, Ki-o-Rahi and Horohopu are making a comeback. Revival of the games was assisted by the 2009 creation of Rangatahi Tu Rangatira or R2R, a Wellington-based Māori health organisation specializing in using Maori games as an activator for youth.

Horohopu is a game where rangatahi get to whirl a distance throwing poi called Poi Toa like a slingshot above their heads. “Kids love the distance throwing aspect of the game” says Shane. Tapu Ae is a large team game with attackers, defenders and lots of tackling or ripping depending on the age of the participants.

Turanga Health taught the games to rangatahi from Muriwai, Manutuke, Patutahi, Matawai, and Whatatutu Schools as well as Te Karaka Area School and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Uri a Maui. They will all have teams at the tournament which is expected to attract over 200 students.

Turanga Health is using the tournament to promote Rheumatic Fever prevention. Participants and parents are are reminded that if a child has a sore throat and especially if the family is Māori or Pacific, they need to be taken to a doctor, nurse or community worker and get a throat swab. Children and young people are the most likely to get rheumatic fever. It occurs after a ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria.

The Year 7 and 8 Tākaro Tawhito Māori Games Tournament will be Tuesday 12 August 2014, at Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae, 307 Lytton Road, starting with karakia at 9am.

ENDS

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