Maori ball game rep gives tips at college

By nathan.crombie@age.co.nz -
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WINNER'S GRIN: Makoura College Ki-o-rahi player Ngatika Matapuku goes through her paces at a workshop on the game led by a national representative. PHOTO / SUPPLIED
WINNER'S GRIN: Makoura College Ki-o-rahi player Ngatika Matapuku goes through her paces at a workshop on the game led by a national representative. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

A former national representative ki-o-rahi player has shared some secrets of the ancient Maori game with Makoura College students.

Pita Noanoa, who has played the game for seven years, visited Makoura College last week and led a workshop on the traditional sport.

A group of senior and junior students were selected to attend the three-hour workshop.Each had either played at the recent regionals competition or will play in the upcoming sports exchange with Mana College.

The workshop comprised an introduction to the sport, relating it to the legend of Rahi and the reason for its popularity in France, before a classroom session on the rules of the game. The group also went outdoors to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the rules.

Students were offered lessons on improving their game by formulating strategies and were taught the importance of supporting and improving their in-game communication, which Noanoa said were two main factors in any successful team.

Makoura College players will have an opportunity to test their enhanced skills at regional competition in Wainuiomata next year.

Ki-o-rahi is a traditional game played across New Zealand with a small round ball called a ki.

The game is widely known in Maori communities and in scattered mainstream locations throughout the country and is a fast-paced sport incorporating skills similar to Australian rules, rugby, netball and touch, that is gaining an international following.

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