According to a press release on 13 March 2014 by the Waka Ama NZ, “Rotorua’s Blue Lake will play host to 95 schools as they paddle for the national title on their Waka Ama (outrigger canoe).”
Organizers report a surge in interest from schools wanting to compete at the 2014 ActivePost National Secondary Schools Waka Ama Championships, according to Lara Collins, Chief Executive of Waka Ama New Zealand.
“The ActivePost Waka Ama Championships had grown into one of the largest Secondary School sports events in New Zealand.”
Furthermore, “We’ve made huge strides these past thirteen years to take Waka Ama into as many schools as possible. Each year we get more schools taking the sport up and, for the very first time since the Christchurch Earthquake, we’ll have schools from the South Island competing at these championships.
“That’s fantastic for the sport. With more than 2,000 spectators lining the banks to cheer their crews, Blue Lake will be transformed into a sea of colour and noise,” according to Collins.
The Waka Ama Championships has become the rallying call for numerous civic, religious, cultural, educational and sports organizations in New Zealand, according to Lara Collins.
“Through our ActivePost sponsorships, we’re encouraging Kiwis to develop a lifelong love of sports and a passion for living active healthy lifestyles. Waka Ama is exciting, fun and is readily accessible for all New Zealanders. That makes it a fantastic sport option for kids to pursue. We’re delighted to partner with Waka Ama NZ and grow these Secondary School’s Championships into the biggest sports event on the school calendar.”
“In just over twenty five years Waka Ama racing has grown in popularity to become the fastest growing sport in New Zealand. Each year, more than 8,000 paddlers from 85 Clubs turn out to race Waka Ama in a show of brute strength, endurance, and team work. Many thousands more attend to watch the racing as spectators.”
The New Zealand ActivePost Initiative “Wants to be strongly positioned in the heart of our communities, and has historically been a big supporter of literacy and education in the community.”
Our purpose is to “Extend this support to encourage health and wellbeing across all age groups and ethnicities.”
In Addition, “ As well as these sport and recreational partnerships and programmes, ActivePost community events take place around the country with the goal of getting as many New Zealanders as possible off the couch and taking part in some form of recreational activity.”
Furthermore, “ActivePost is determined to encourage New Zealanders to become active and engaged in community sport.” We have more than 10,000 staff nationwide and a physical presence in almost every community in New Zealand.”