Normalising Te Reo Māori on the sports field

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Te Kura Kapapa Māori o Ruamata boy’s hockey team have made it into the final of the Olympic Stick competition in Pukekohe, beating Te Puke High School 2-1 in the semi-final today. Coach Tenga Rangitauira says the Māori language is one of the reasons they're succeeding.

“Who is the school? Ru-Cru!”

Normalising Te Reo Māori on the sports field.

“Who are we at heart? Ru-Cru! Champions!”

A key player in the side, Moko Rangitauira Edmonds says, “Firstly, they don't understand what we're saying. Secondly, it's good because Te Reo Māori is the main language of our school, so there are many benefits.”

Tenga Rangitauira points out other advatnages, “On the flip side, I can understand what the coaches of the other teams are saying to their players because they're all speaking in English. So there is great value in speaking Māori in sport."

He maintains that this is an aspect of Māori language immersion schools, who follow the principles of the Te Aho Matua philosophy.

“It's important to extend language use beyond the walls of the school with sports, kapa haka and at home, so that the language gets out to the world.”

Moko Rangitauira Edmonds says they're seeing the results.

“Our goal coming here was to make the final and we've done that, so it's going well.”

The final takes place tomorrow.