Topic: Waka Ama

Waka ama Master 70 Men's team to make worlds debut

By Aroha Treacher

For the first time in New Zealand waka ama history, there will be a Master 70 Waka Ama Mens team competing on the world stage.  Come May this year, they'll be competing at the World Club Championships on Australia's Gold Coast.

They're all in their 70s, they're all competitive and they're breaking new water in New Zealand waka ama.

Trevor Taurima (Team Rock n Roll) says, "Exciting to the max it is exciting but of course to get there we got to do the hard yards and at this stage, we don't know the numbers in our category, but irrespective of that we're going there to get gold."

After graduating from Golden Masters, Team Rock n Roll was formed after a desire to continue competing into their 70s.

Coach Howard Hyland says, "Once you've done Golden Masters where else could you go?  Nowhere!  You just had to give it up or stay with Golden Masters so myself and a couple of others said why don't we start a masters 70 team and hence this is it."

Richard Saul (Team Rock n Roll) says, "One guy was a Judo competitor, one guy was a Harrier, some rowers, some waka ama - so this is lifelong.  This is one of the reasons why we want to continue to be competitive."

New Zealand has never had any Masters 70 teams compete overseas due to a lack of numbers.  But now, due to the sport growing in popularity, they've got an overseas berth waiting for them.

Hyland says, "It's worked out very very well they're all keen and they're getting fitter there's certainly an attitudinal change in the way that they think about life."

They come from all over the central North Island to train, proving that age really is nothing but a number.

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