April 2017: This year saw 112 schools, 1837 paddlers take part in Te Wānanga o Aotearoa National Secondary School Waka Ama Championships held at Lake Tikitapu this month.
It was the first time for Te Waiariki Purea Trust team leader, Kelley Korau as the organiser and she said it went extremely well despite the rainy weather.
The team worked like clockwork, they made it look really easy, even though there may have been some long hours,” Kelley said.
“We had quite a number of new staff on this particular round and obviously it was an eye-opener but it was went really well with half the staff being first time. I think if you look at the survey and comments that have come back it was fairly unflawed.”
The team now have their sights firmly fixed on outdoing this year’s numbers which saw an increase by 300 participants.‘We’re hoping we will get an extra 300 [paddlers] next year and we will be focusing on what we are going to do to deliver,” Kelley said.