It was the Olympics - but with a distinctly Rotorua twist.

The Rotorua District Library's Myths & Legends Summer Holiday Programme took to the Lakefront yesterday for its Legends Olympic Challenge.

Children took part in traditional Maori games played using sticks, poi and paua shells.

Te Aroha Rangi, children's and teens librarian - programmes, said the aim of the event was for kids to "experience and get an idea of the simple games Maori used to play way back in history".


It was the holiday programme's second event at the Lakefront and had a good turnout, she said.

The first game played was poi toa where the kids ran around cones waving a poi before passing it on to the next person and joining on like a train each time.

Other games included poi rakau where the children threw swimming noodles to each other to catch in a circle, poi toss where kids would see how many poi they could get in a bucket, and kite which was a game similar to Marco Polo.

Paige Biddle, 4, said she was enjoying the event and running to hold on to her team in the first activity was hard.

Her grandmother Anne Hofmann said her grandchildren went to the library's holiday programmes a lot and their cousins from Auckland would often join them when they were visiting.

"It is interactive and lots of fun, they have some neat fun. There is nothing better than seeing kids out playing."

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