Rotorua waka ama groups have returned from the 17th IVF World Elite and Club Sprint Championships with their heads held high and a collection of medals.

The championships took place at Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia from May 8 to May 15.

Ruamata Waka Ama Club member Yvonne Rogers said a highlight was doing really well as a club, a team and individuals.

Go Aotearoa team Nyree King (left), Anne Kauika, Corrina Gage, Yvonne Rogers, Anita Taggart and Raipoia Brightwell.
Go Aotearoa team Nyree King (left), Anne Kauika, Corrina Gage, Yvonne Rogers, Anita Taggart and Raipoia Brightwell.

Ms Rogers picked up silver in the Masters Women's 50 V1 500m event and three golds with her team Go Aotearoa.

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Ms Rogers said Rotorua was well represented at the competition.

She had been paddling for 12 years, and enjoyed being one with the water. She also liked the ability to both paddle as a team and test herself.

"It's a family sport. Waka ama caters for all ages, you're never too young, never too old."

Makayla Timoti, a 14-year-old John Paul College student from Hei Matau Paddlers, won a silver medal in the Junior Women's 500m singles, as well as bronze in the V6 500m teams.

Makayla said highlights of the event were "meeting new people, seeing my old friends and the overall experience".

Makayla had a dedicated training regime leading up to the champs.

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Makayla said she enjoyed the water paddling, as "it's like a home away home" and was where she could go to think and forget everything.

Rotorua Boys' High School head of Maori Wairangi Jones said the school's current under-19 secondary school champions paddled for Koutu-based Hei Matau at the worlds, placing third in the W12, fourth in the 500m sprint and fifth in the 1000m turns sprints.

He said students from the school's current under-16 secondary school champions paddled for Lake Okareka-based Te Aurere and placed third in the W12.

Other local clubs that had members bring home medals included Te Aurere Waka Ama Club and Rotorua-based members from the Tarawera Outrigger Canoe Club.

Altogether New Zealand picked up 30 gold medals, 27 silvers and 22 bronzes, making New Zealand number one in the world.

- For all results visit www.wakaama.co.nz/stories/read/1004254.
Rotorua results:
Ruamata
Go Aotearoa-Master 50, singles W1 500m, Nyree King, (world record) gold, Yvonne Rogers, silver; Aotearoa Bellas Master 40, singles W1 500m, Nicky Kingi, (world record) gold, Ngaire Pehi, bronze; Master Men 50, singles W1 500m, Stephen Hohepa silver; Go Aotearoa, Master 50, W6 500m, gold; Go Aotearoa, Master 50, W6 1000m, (world record) gold; Go Aotearoa Bellas, Master 40, W12 500m, gold; Aotearoa Bellas, Master 40, W6 500m, (world record) gold; Aotearoa Bellas Master 40, W6 1000m, gold.

Hei Matau
Junior 16 women, singles W1 500m, Makayla Timoti, silver; Puutakeake-Kotiro Junior 16 women, W6 500m, bronze; Pr3zzys, Junior 19 men, W12 500m, bronze.

Tarawera
Open women, W6 500m, bronze.
Open women, W6 1500, bronze.

Te Aurere
Puawaitanga, Junior 16 men, W12 500, bronze