The youngest paddlers, aged 5 to 9 years, did a fine job of representing Nga Hoe Horo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa national waka ama sprint championships on Lake Karapiro on Sunday, placing strongly in their heats and semi-finals, and again yesterday in their finals.
The girls, Lil Tiare, were third across the line in their final over 250m, but a 10-second time penalty pushed them back to 10th, while the boys, Nga Tamatoa, were fourth in their final, nine seconds behind the winning crew, Tai Kotuku.
Twelve crews qualified for each final, putting both teams very much in the national elite within their age group.
Their success came as no surprise to the club, however, Chev Reti saying the youngsters were carrying on Nga Hoe Horo's long tradition of training hard, both at Lake Ngatu and at Pawarenga.
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"This work ethic shows throughout the grades, from the youngest midgets, just five and six years old, right up to our J19 boys and girls," she said.
"They have all been training hard, some of the teams twice a day. Our midget boys, Nga Tamatoa, have been training at least three or four times a week, regardless of the weather, for the last few months, and it showed on the day, the kids placing really well to get into the semis and the finals.
"They are showing that hard work pays off in the end.
"They are passionate about and committed to their sport, and they love it, as well as the kaupapa of waka ama," she added.
"We teach our kids about how waka ama was born in Pawarenga, about the whakapapa of the sport, and about the whakawhanaungatanga, mana akitanga and mahi-mahi."