The New Zealand Golden Masters Women's 60 plus waka ama team has their eye on winning a gold medal when they compete at the IVF Worlds in Tahiti this July. Over the weekend the team were training on Lake Rotoiti.
Waka ama training never stops for these ladies despite training in the rain this morning.
Team member Hilda Halkyard-Harawira of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri says, “there are 14 of us 60-year-old plus. There's also another team of 70-year-olds. We have learnt a lot, like how to paddle as one, how to be swift on the waka but our main focus was based around paddling as one”.
The group has been running training seminars for over 6 months but this weekend they invited one of New Zealand's waka ama experts to help them.
Māori Land Court judge Caren Fox who is also in the team says, “Corrina Gage was here to show us what we were doing wrong when paddling it can sometimes be difficult remembering the sections within the race from start to finish and the different calls”.
The team members have come from all over New Zealand from as far as Dunedin in the South to the Kaitāia in the far North. Halkyard-Harawira says that the team is prepared “are we ready yes! Our ladies are strong and ready for this trip when we get there we are facing the sun and the elements of Tahiti-nui”.
Judge Fox says that they are supporting each other all the time, “despite this being a competition the main thing is to paddle as one. You have seen how healthy we are so we are rearing to go”.
This will be the last time the team will be together before they head off to the IVF World Waka Ama competition.