Hamilton's gift to Sevens teams are Tūmeke

By James Perry

Every player at this weekends HSBC Hamilton Sevens event will have the chance to walk away with a special piece of history. 

The "Tūmeke" award is the gift that Hamilton City has given to each team competing this weekend. Each host city presents the teams a gift, however Chad Hooker, Director of Operations at H3 Group, the City Councils events arm is hoping Tūmeke can be different in that the intention isn't simply for the teams to put in a trophy cabinet and forgotten about, but rather "give to one of their squad, whether it's one of the guys on the field or one of their support staff who represents the qualities the trophy represents," he says. 

Qualities, he says include "team unity, strength and resilience," which is reflected in the design of the award. The award is in the shape of a stern of a waka, with two strips of pounamu representing the Waikato river, and two different koru, one in the shape of a rugby ball. There is also a silver fern, representing of New Zealand's most iconic sporting symbols.

Each player at this weekends tournament has the chance to receive the Tūmeke award. Photo/file

With Tūmeke meaning "too much," Hooker and his team decided it was fitting to name the award intended to acknowledge someone who had been 'too much' for their team this weekend. The group also felt it was really appropriate to bring some Te Reo into that," each trophy has a booklet explaining the meaning behind it, and the team liaison officers assigned to each team are able "to teach them a little bit about our culture," Hooker says.

Hooker is anticipating that the worthy recipients will post photos of their award on social media, spreading the symbols, and stories of the Waikato region around the world.