Pulse player Sulu Fitzpatrick poses with her te reo bib (Source: Pulse/Facebook)
As the ANZ Netball Premiership kicked off around the country, a new look Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse took to the court proudly promoting te reo Māori for the first time on their uniform bibs.
Mereana Selby, CEO for Pulse sponsor Te Wānanga o Raukawa, says the players have been attending classes to learn about the language.
“While it’s an off-court challenge for players, the team is loud and proud about promoting te reo Māori at the very top of New Zealand netball,” Selby says.
She says Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Pulse are working together in exploring the use of te reo in a mainstream sporting environment.
Each of the team’s seven playing bibs are adorned with a Māori word. The seven words that featured on the bibs, starting at goalshoot and working through the team, were: Ako (learn), Whakarongo (listen), Waiata (sing), Pānui (read), Tuhi (write), Kōrero (talk), Titiro (look).
“The Pulse has laid down the challenge and now it’s up to all the other teams in the ANZ Premiership to pick it up and run with it,” she says.
Selby says the real goal is to take the words off the bibs and use them in the spoken form.
Pulse Head coach, Yvette McClausland-Durie says Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the ANZ Pulse Netball Team are working together in exploring the use of Te Reo in a mainstream environment.
"Promoting the use of the language through netball has the potential we believe to increase awareness, learning, acceptance and the use of Te Reo by netball people and the wider New Zealand community", says McClausland-Durie.
The Pulse set the tone for their season after closing out the opening round of Super Sunday with a storming 62-39 win yesterday over the Northern Mystics in Hamilton.