Topic: World Masters Games

Ancient Māori game incorporated into an international event

By Moana Makapelu Lee

The ancient game of Ki-o-rahi got its first taste of international games at the World Masters Games at The Cloud in Central Auckland. Kiorahi revitalists say its promotion at an international event offers hope to its future. 

Auckland rain didn't put off tourists from playing their first game of Kīorahi. 

Participants were captivated by the game:

"I like the defending, I like being in front of the bin and saving some of the balls from going over."
"It's pretty easy to like pick up, so we haven't got any knowledge of the rules but it's just quite a fun game to like throw yourself into, without having to know too much tactics." 

It's the first time the ancient Māori game has been incorporated into an international event, a move by the 2017 World Masters Games to promote the indigenous sport. Public were invited to play at the Toi Ora Māori Arts and Culture gallery at The Cloud. 

English exchange students who participated in the Ki- o-rahi game had high praise:

"Anyone who's ever been involved in a team sport would love it."
"It's like all the team sports combined."
"Yeah, big countries as well like we're from in England it would go down a hit cause there's so many rugby skills involved as well."

Wiremu Mato says, "It's great promotion for the game because tourists get to see this game that is unique to NZ and they really get into it."

The University of Bath students from England say they hope to take the game back to their homeland.

"Yeah we are going to get a team set up at Bath Uni where we all go and go from there."

The World Masters Games conclude tomorrow, however, Wiremu hopes to see Ki-o-rahi incorporated in the 2021 games in Japan.