On Tuesday, February 23, the Rotorua Aquatic Centre was filled with bright orange, pink and purple costumes as Rotorua Girls' High School held its annual inter-house swimming sports.
As soon as the girls started arriving, the energy and house spirit could be felt, as each house decorated their own designated area with balloons, ribbons and a banner to honour each of the houses' namesakes - Makereti Papakura (Pink House), Witarina Harris (Orange House) and Taini Morrison (Purple House).
The costumes of the girls and even the teachers further reflected the increasing spirit and energy, with girls dressed in anything from a T-shirt and tights in their house colours through to being dressed as yoga instructors, divers and jellyfish.
The day got off to an energetic start with girls swimming, running, walking and even piggybacking through the pool as each girl endeavoured to make it from one end of the pool to the other, alongside her entire house, in the house swim, with points being awarded.
The remainder of the day was a noisy one, with music continuously blasting, and the girls singing and dancing along to it.
The contest heated up as competitors swam for placings in various events in their respective age categories.
There was friendly competition all day between the houses as they had mini chant-offs, cheered their house on and, of course, the reputable, traditional house chant competition.
The weeks leading up to the day had been spent preparing and rehearsing a medley of songs with the lyrics altered to represent the house and their values.
The ground was literally shaking as girls put their all into screaming, shouting and jumping their way through their house chant, and the competition was incredibly tight, with Witarina taking out the title in the end. Leadership was encouraged and practised throughout the day, with the seniors of the school rallying the girls, organising teams and leading the house chants.
A teachers versus Year 13 swim brought the day to an end, with a team of the strongest swimmers in the staff base and in Year 13 racing against each other in a relay, which was met with the entire school surrounding the pool and cheering, and making for a great finale to the day.
The day was great fun with loads of spirit and enthusiasm and Makereti (Pink House) took out the title of overall winners.