Kaumātua Olympics are coming to Rotorua after a successful campaign by the Toa Oranga Tinana kaumātua group.

More than 30 seniors had been training together for three years and were excited to have the opportunity to host the event for the first time.

Toa Oranga Tinana spokeswoman Dr Laurie Morrison said the group was invited to the kaumātua service provider conference in New Plymouth where they pitched the idea.

"We followed tikanga Māori processes and we asked all of the service providers that were there about how they would feel about it coming to Te Arawa and they just embraced the whole concept."


Morrison said going to the conference in Taranaki was an opportunity to reconnect with national service providers and a positive consequence was Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust lending the group resources for the games.

Morrison said they were still at the beginning stages and were now looking at venues that would accommodate more than 300 kaumātua. It is hoped the games will be held in September next year.

"It is quite overwhelming too however, we're in discussions with Rotorua Lakes Council sports development crew and it really is about us extending our own networks."

The Olympics consisted of cognitive, light cardio and strength games.

Morrison compared it to a mini version of the New Zealand game show Top Town "without jumping into water".

Involved in the fitness group was Dr Sir Toby Curtis who thought it was wonderful the Olympics were being held in Rotorua because it raised awareness of the body.

He said if there was one thing people should be focusing on as they got older it was to keep the body moving.

"I feel that when peoples bodies are active and peoples bodies are flowing well, I feel naturally the heart and the spirit plays well. And when that happens people are in a positive state of mind."


He said the group were working out in a "simplistic, easy and enjoyable way" which would not be achieved in the comfort of your own home.

TOA Advanced Health & Fitness co-owner Preston "Bam" Whare said it was amazing to see how much fun the group were having without realising they were exercising.

Whare had created a senior class in his gyms in Australia but wanted to bring the concept home to give back to the generation and ensure they enjoyed their "twilight years".

"They're the backbone of us. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them and it is time to give back to them."

Whare said the group exploded when they received the news and it had given them new goals to reach.

In the beginning some in the group could not stand for the whole session but have made progress that is closely followed by nurses.

Whare said the programme ensured they were not doing damage to the group which ranged from 60 to 80-years-old.