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Showcase Of World Class Maori Sports Talent

30 November 2001

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said tonight’s annual Moana Pacific Maori Sports Awards is an awesome opportunity to showcase world class Maori talent.

The Minister was amongst the 740 nominees, families, friends and supporters who attended the annual celebrations at held at Turangawaewae marae. (Details of award finalists and scholarship winners attached.)

Mr Horomia said he was impressed by the maturity, dedication and commitment shown by all nominees which, when combined with the sense of balance and rhythm, eye hand coordination and competitiveness natural to Maori, was hard to beat.

“Touch, netball, golf, rugby basketball, tennis, rugby league, cricket, volleyball and softball are the ten most popular sports for Maori . There are professional careers to be had in almost all of these codes, either as players, administrator/managers or other related roles and I want to encourage young and ‘not so young’ Maori to seriously consider these as options.”

“Whilst professional opportunities are still there, playing for the fun of it remains as important as ever. The social and health benefits of participating in sports cannot be overstated and every effort must be made to make sure people keep playing after they leave school,” said Mr Horomia.

The Minister was also keen to point out the wider benefits of sport, (surprisingly) quoting the success of the Ngati Porou East Coast rugby team.

“They had a tremendously positive effect on our region. We were inspired by their success, proud to be Ngati, proud to be from the Coast. Communities were talking positively about the future. We need to build on the buzz generated through sport to spur positive development in the economic, social and cultural areas of the Tairawhiti rohe.”

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