Friday, March 20, 2009

#656 ... My Clean Waka

The Wellington Girls College "Waka ama" (outrigger canoes) team doing car washing to raise money for going to the competitions in Rotorua ... the Cat looked clean for once!!! Thanks Team

Waka Ama website and here is an article from the NZ Herald about school sport Waka Ama:

Waka Ama is much more than just another sport at James Cook High. It is THE sport of choice for many of the 1200 pupils at the Weymouth school. And, they are pretty good at it.Victories in the division one boys' and girls' championship finals at the Auckland Secondary Schools regatta at the Orakei Basin on Saturday followed hard work put in by the school's 60-odd paddlers under the programme run by George Pomana and Richard Schuster.

Waka Ama, outrigger canoeing, is an extension of the school's bilingual unit administered by Pomana and based around their Te Pou Herenga Marae.

"There is a majority of Maori and Polynesian boys and girls at the school who mix in with the mainstream pupils for Waka Ama," said Schuster, who introduced the sport to the school while his daughters were there a few years ago.

"We have the resources and it is just a short walk from the school to where we train at Weymouth."

Many past pupils have gone on to join the Te Pou Herenga Club at Weymouth, which Schuster also started. The canoes - five six-person and six singles - are owned by the club but made available to the school.At $11,000 and $2500 respectively, they don't come cheap but Schuster does not let that dampen his enthusiasm.

"We have put in a lot of work already this year but we will have to do more before we go to the nationals in Rotorua at the end of the month," said Schuster, who has been paddling for 18 years after competing in dragon boats. "But that won't be easy as a lot of the kids are also in the ASB Polyfest which also takes a lot of their time as it is quite intense."

Keen to provide Waka Ama year round, Schuster has introduced a Year 9 programme at the school. "While some of our paddlers go off and play league, rugby or netball in the winter, some want to stay with Waka Ama - so we are extending our programme which will take them through to the junior regatta in term four."

All eyes will now be on Joshua Perese, who won the J16 and J19 titles at last year's national secondary schools championships and will be back to defend this year in Rotorua from March 31-April 3, hoping to give James Cook High further recognition on the national stage.


Sally said...

Good luck to them all - if they don't injure their feet !

Vogon Poet said...

What a team effort, they seem quite organized and the purpose is absolutely useful!