TRADITIONAL Maori ball game Ki-o-Rahi is set to get maximum exposure at Tikipunga High School,where a class of students at the school has taken the game to heart.
"We're definitely planning on spreading the word about the game," physical education instructor Andrea Cameron said.
"We're showing a video and presentation of how to play the game at our assembly and we hope it catches on here," she said.
Her Year 10 class came upon the game as a part of their study.
"Ki-o-rahi was the last part of a unit of traditional Maori games that we've been doing and it was the last lesson where we got to go up to Kerikeri and learn this game."
The class divided into a boys and girls team to play their counterparts at Kerikeri High School, had a great time and quickly developed a great feel for the game.
"It was almost as though this game was designed for our kids, they absolutely love it, it's physical, it's fast and while it has got rules there are not too many and the game was played in a great spirit," she said.
Kerikeri High School PE teacher Harko Brown has been one of the people responsible for promoting the game nationally and organised teams to play Tikipunga earlier this month.
The boys had a 15-4 win over Kerikeri, while an understrength girls' team went down by a massive 8-62.
The scores seemed irrelevant to students who gained an insight into a sport played by their ancestors.
Cameron said about 80 per cent of her class were Maori and a high proportion of the school's students were tangata whenua.
"Right from the beginning they realised the game was something special and it's been good to see."
The journey was also worthwhile for Cameron, who is enthusiastic about using the sport as a key part of teaching PE.
"I've been teaching at Tikipunga High School for nine years and have realised the need to try different things because the traditional way of teaching Physical Education wasn't always engaging the kids," she said.
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