It's that time of the year when Māori in lycra gathers in all of their glory to compete at the IronMāori. It's the first time the event will be hosted in Auckland. The event also sees the inclusion of a new kids and youth component.
It was a quiet day in Umupuia, however in just 24 hours these streets will be packed with more than 300 kids and adults competing in the big IronMāori.
IronMāori participant Kerri Blackmore says, “For the rangatahi they will swim just 300 metres. From there we will have cyclists going out. Our rangatahi will have a 10k ride out toward clevedon they get to a 5k mark and turn around. And then we come and there will be a 3k run.”
IronMāori athlete, Kerri Blackmore has also been facilitating various schools across Auckland into the event. This year sees 11 students from Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi competing for the first time. They have been training for two months.
“We are out to represent our school, our marae Hoani Waititi, but also show an example for our community and other youth,” says wharekura student Lionel Tepania.
Sports teacher, Tania Mahuru-Stanley says it has been an awesome opportunity for the students to learn about fitness and nutrition as well as getting out of the classroom, “There are many benefits for the kids as well as the health and fitness side. It's also important because it connects them back to their environment, the ocean, the earth, and nature. So it's a great experience for them.”
These students hope to inspire more people to participate next year.
Tepania says he encourages all students to give it a go, “Get off the coach, turn off your television and come down to Maraetai and do the business.”