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One For The Kids: Ironkidz Runs Into Taupō

Being active is an important part of being a kid and Ironkidz is one of the many ways for local tamariki to do so.

Hundreds of children will take part in the Wairakei Estate Ironkidz event this Sunday by running, cycling and swimming along the Taupō lakefront.

Now in its 25th year, Ironkidz gives children aged from 5 to 15 the chance to get active and involved in sport. For the younger entrants, the Splash and Dash event lets 5 to 7 year olds have a splash in the lake and a short run, receiving a certificate and medal for crossing the finishing line.

Eight-year-old Mackenzie from Waipahihi School has competed in two Ironkidz events. She enjoys the running and swimming, and says other children should get involved.

“It’s fun, you get brave and you might join a club afterwards!”

The event is an essential fundraiser for Waipahihi School as well as being a breeding ground for future stars. Local Kyle Smith competed in Ironkidz more than a decade ago and recently won the 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Taupō.

There are countless opportunities for children to get active in the Taupō District, including 60 playgrounds, the annual Global Games NZ Junior Rugby Festival and the McCartney Football Tournament in Taupō later this year.

For the adventurous, Taupō’s Events Centre offers hydroslides and heated pools at the AC Baths, and an indoor all-weather climbing wall. Tūrangi’s Turtle Pools offer swimming lessons, leisure pools and even an aquatic climbing wall.

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There’s always something going on no matter what your children are interested in. Kids who want to get up on stage can join in the Ngāti Tūwharetoa Taiopenga Schools Kapa Haka Festival later this year. This July will even see the Rubik’s Cube North Island Championship square off in Taupō’s Great Lake Centre.

Te Papamārearea Māori Ward Councillor Karam Fletcher, who holds the youth and techonology portfolio for Taupō District Council, is excited about the opportunities across the whole rohe for youth of all ages.

“I believe it’s our collective responsibility to meaningfully engage with our rangatahi, to hold events and provide spaces that allow for them to grow into positive contributors to their respective communities. Ko ngā rangatahi ngā rangatira ō āpōpō.”

For more information on Ironkidz or any of these opportunities for your rangatahi, visit www.taupo.govt.nz/recreation.

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