Siblings fight for NZ

By Andrew Johnsen

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SHAPING UP: Teuarangi and Kingiteahuahu Tana in their New Zealand tracksuits ahead of their trip to Noumea.
SHAPING UP: Teuarangi and Kingiteahuahu Tana in their New Zealand tracksuits ahead of their trip to Noumea.

TWO Paihia siblings are making waves in karate circles, and have both been rewarded with a chance at representative action.

Multi-talented Kingiteahuahu Tana is off to Noumea to represent New Zealand in the Oceania Karate Championships.

The 11-year-old Moerewa School student has made the team alongside his sister, Teuarangi.

Kingi has been competing in the sport since he was 5 and has achieved a brown belt with black tip.

He is aiming to be at the 2024 Olympics.

"It is worth all of the travelling and training."

Kingi said the sport was a great way to learn to defend yourself.

"My favourite part is going away to different tournaments, we are always going to different places."

The Kawakawa-born, Paihia-based siblings travel to Whangarei at least three times a week after school to train, and often have a Saturday training as well.

Mother Rachael Harding says 17-year-old Teuarangi had trialled twice for the New Zealand team and finally made it.

"Kingi was the real surprise, getting selected after only five years in karate," she said.

"I am very proud of both of them."

She says the pair trained at Kawakawa then Moerewa before a decline in numbers and increased travel costs forced the move to the main Whangarei dojo Miyagi Kan, under sensei Craig Nordstrand.

Teuarangi has competed in karate for the past nine years with many gold medal wins to her name and has achieved a black belt with white stripe.

Her results also include silver in the open girls' 16-17 year old kumite section at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Kingi is also a successful speaker, having won his section at the Maori Women's Welfare League Pu Korero Speech Competition.

He will represent Te Taitokerau at the national conference on September 27.

The Miyagi Kan Karate Club that Teuarangi and Kingi attend will have six students representing New Zealand at the Oceania Championships.

They will compete in the kata and kumite sections.

Kingi says kata is a series of blocks and attacks with kumite the fighting discipline.

The Tana family fly out on September 10 with a week to prepare for the competition, which begins on September 15.

- Northern Advocate

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