Secondary Schools Waka Ama nationals underway

By Rahia Timutimu

Today signalled the first day of competition at the National Secondary Schools Waka Ama Championship, in its 13th year the competition this year is its biggest to date, where nearly 100 schools are competing. Te Kāea was there at Lake Tikitapu today, and spoke to the new paddlers and current champions in the sport.

Schools from near and far were arrived to contest the opening of the National Secondary Schools Waka Ama Championships.

The competition is now in its 13th year after starting in 2002, where it was held in Auckland.

Turanga Barclay-Kerr says, “we came here when I was at school to Tikitapu to compete. Now I’m here as a coach for some of the schools in Hamilton. It’s good to see the growth in the sport, there’s many other schools here, way more than when I used to compete.

Since its inception, it has become one of the biggest Waka Ama competitions with more than 1500 students competing from 95 schools all across the nation.

There are ten new schools at the competition this year with Whangarei Girls’ and Boys’ High School being one of the newcomers.

The competition carries on throughout the week, culminating in the championship races on Friday.