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The 32nd Te Wānanga O Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals Has Begun!

17 January 2021

What a start whanau!

Day 1 kicked off with a Karakia Paimārire – a full traditional blessing led by Tim Kara of Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, followed by a pōwhiri, where speakers highlighted how important it is to talk and share with friends, we need each other whānau. He waka eke noa. Coaches, clubs and kaihoe from Christchurch to Kaitaia have arrived, bringing their passion, skills and support. Lake Karāpiro is buzzing!

Today was our first day of competition, as always we began with Taitamariki (youth 6-10) racing. We had 35 races and a record breaking 750+ Taitamariki under the age of 10 paddling.

“It was fantastic to see thousands of happy, smiley faces enjoying day 1 of racing, both on and off the water. We’re really fortunate that New Zealand has done such a great job managing covid-19, which allows events like this one to take place, I can’t wait for tomorrow!” says Ms Lara Collins (CEO of Waka Ama NZ)

Tomorrow we have our Intermediate Paddlers (11 -13 years old) kicking off the day, followed by J16’s, and the Championship Finals for our Taitamariki paddlers. We have over 2100 paddlers competing tomorrow!

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