30th annual Waka Ama champs kick off today

By Regan Paranihi

Today marks day one of the annual National Waka Ama Championships held at Lake Karapiro.

Over 1700 Waka Ama teams from 61 clubs from all around the country will take to the water this week in a bid to be crowned the 2019 Waka Ama champions.

Day one will see the Midgets (under 10) grade battle it out for the top spot. 

Waka Ama New Zealand CEO, Lara Collins, says this year’s competition is the biggest yet and continues to grow each year.

“Waka Ama is a sport like no other, with its inclusive nature bringing paddlers of all ages and ethnicities.”

Collins also says Waka Ama is a sport that is catered for people from all walks of life.

“Our youngest paddler competing this week is 5 and our oldest paddler will turn 82 this year. Waka Ama may be the only sport where grandmothers, grandfathers, mums, dads and their kids can come together to race competitively.”

Tune in to the Māori Television website and the Te Kāea facebook page for live coverage and updates of the event.