Kia ora tātou
Just sending out a huge thank you to you all for supporting our taitamariki. The U14 Ngāpuhi Tama/Kōtiro Poitukohu (Basketball) Squads competed at the International Indigenous Youth Basketball Tournament in Kaitaia last week. Their journey began during the school holidays with a Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services funded marae camp which not only prepared them for the huge sport stage, but also prepared the taitamariki to represent themselves and their people culturally.
This was evident during powhiri, hākari and on the marae where they were able to share their culture and their ways with everyone – especially their sister and brother teams Toa and Teina Samoa whom they stayed with at Kareponia Marae. It was a beautiful week of tikanga Māori, tikanga marae, whanaungatanga and Ngāpuhitanga. A comment was made as to how the taitamariki would do things without being told or asked, like preparing their own lunches, dinners and desserts etc… we credit the marae holiday programmes for their confidence in and around the marae and community.
Both our teams made the semifinals – 17 players of the 19 Ngāpuhi are all first year players. Being able to compete at this level is a credit to the coaches work and their own natural abilities. The sport and the successes of the taitamariki in the tournament was second to the cultural experience they had during their 6-day stay, that included a day of traditional Māori games, a tournament trip to the Cape, travelling with the First Nations Team from Canada, a cultural performance concert, a trip to the Aurere to be with Matua Hector Busby and all the life-long relationships and friends they formed off the court. Winning in sport is GREAT. Winning in life is the GOAL.
Again, thank you everyone from Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi and Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services for making this all possible for these young people – future leaders.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Melvin Rameka, Senior YJ Mentor – Parirau Team
[Published in E Mara E Pānui 24 August 2017]
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