Recognised nationally and internationally, but not locally

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Despite being named as the top waka ama club at both the national and world waka ama competitions, Horouta Waka Hoe missed out on being named as a finalist for club of year at the Gisborne Sports Awards.

Recognised nationally and internationally, but not locally.

Horouta Waka Hoe coach Kiwi Campbell says, “We stepped it up from nationals we performed on an international stage, we set five new world records, they’re not just titles, it just I think it's to acknowledge the hard mahi that goes into these kind of campaigns.”

The criteria are improvements to the club; community impact; managing members; performance and participation.

Sport Gisborne CE Stefan Pishief says, “Horouta Waka Hoe is a strong club across a range of areas, this will come down to judging each of those and other clubs may have come out on top with that.”

The club raised over half a million dollars to get their paddlers and support crew to Tahiti for the world waka ama competition.

Cambell says, “For us to fall short of actually being finalists, really disappointing, quite disheartening, and something that I think the Sport Gisborne needs to review, what the criteria that they’re looking for is.”

Walker says, “It's the mixing up perhaps of the sections into one, the competition section, the development section, which is it?"

Stefan Pishief says, “This award many years ago was more performance-based, but it was moved in this direction to look at the wider picture for a club but certainly we will be having a good look at that so that might be a possibility.”

Walton Walker says that despite the result, the club is about whānau, and building character in youth.

“Showing them they can reach the heights of a champion, if they are resilient in pursuit, in practice, and those many attributes.”