For the first time, a local South Auckland Strongman club has been given the honour to host this year's Southern Hemisphere qualifier at Hamilton's Mystery Creek in March.
Strength Pit Otara Limited Coach Afaese Paea says, “Once upon a time we only had five events in any given 12 months. We now have 12 or more events that the guys can do. So it’s growing not as fast as other sports but it’s getting there”.
The strongest men from New Zealand and aboard test their strength to qualify for the Southern Hemisphere's strongest man. Paea and his crew can't wait to host the best competitors this side of the world.
"New Zealand has won most of the titles in Aussie, but the Aussies may not like that. Around the World, America at the moment, Brian Shaw has won four times and Eddie Shore from Great Britain has won it for the first time. The Americas and Europeans are dominant in the sport”.
A total 10 invites have been set out, names like the Australasian champion and form 3 time New Zealand champion Colm Woulfe could be making an appearance. Māori competitor Rongo Keene who is based in Australia is another in the mix.
Head coach Paea is looking to grow the sport not only amongst future male contestants but has also looked to open doors for female competitors
Afaese Paea says, “Strongwomen and Strongman have been around in New Zealand for 20years. I guess it just hasn’t been promoted as strong as we’d like. But with Social Media and Facebook in the last two or three years, it is getting out there”.
The two top placings will be selected for the Southern Hemisphere competition later this year.