Gymnastics festival a first for Coast schools

A first of its kind.

A first of its kind.

Nadine Imhoff from Potaka School executes a straight leg lift on the high beam.
Te Ranga a Te Anewa Waititi-Rata from Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa is happy with her finish after the low beam on to the spring board.

A first of its kind gymnastics festival at Hicks Bay has reinvigorated interest on the Coast in the sport, says Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti.

Nine schools and 236 children gathered for the inaugural Huihuinga Takaporepore o nga Kura o Ngati Porou.

The gymnastics festival was organised by Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti (KKMT) and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti.

As part of growing the sport in the region, experienced gymnasts from Gisborne Girls’ High School travelled up for the event to upskill senior students of local schools in the judging of various categories.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti young persons lead, Phil Robinson, said they set out to build a capability within the schools to run this event themselves in the future.

“We’re hoping that through this process schools can acquire some of the skills and equipment needed to enjoy this sport more regularly.”

KKMT teacher Pohatu Poutu said taking their kids to the gymnastics festivals required a three-hour drive to Gisborne.

“While many mainstream sports have historically been offered within the Coast community, having a gymnastics festival is considered a great step forward for non-mainstream sports.

“In the past, we have put a lot of emphasis on sports such as netball and rugby, while other sports such as this are left aside,” said Mr Poutu.

The event was held in Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti’s gymnasium, a multi-use sporting facility that caters for basketball, netball, badminton, volleyball and now gymnastics.

The facility was opened in 2016 and has created countless opportunities for those on the Coast to participate in indoor sport.

Mr Poutu attributed some of the success of this event to the new gym and said it would have been very difficult to host such an event without this facility.

“Excitement for the event has been building for months — the kids have been looking forward to this since the start of term.

“Lunch time and interval have been used for doing cartwheels, and practising their routines.”

There is hope this event will grow the sport of gymnastics on the Coast.

“It’s a goal to potentially open a gymnastics club here in Wharekahika,” he said.

Rerekohu teacher Lisa Rudland said there is already demand among students and teachers alike for the event to return next year.

“The joy on the faces of those kids was awesome.

“They loved it.”

A first of its kind gymnastics festival at Hicks Bay has reinvigorated interest on the Coast in the sport, says Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti.

Nine schools and 236 children gathered for the inaugural Huihuinga Takaporepore o nga Kura o Ngati Porou.

The gymnastics festival was organised by Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti (KKMT) and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti.

As part of growing the sport in the region, experienced gymnasts from Gisborne Girls’ High School travelled up for the event to upskill senior students of local schools in the judging of various categories.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti young persons lead, Phil Robinson, said they set out to build a capability within the schools to run this event themselves in the future.

“We’re hoping that through this process schools can acquire some of the skills and equipment needed to enjoy this sport more regularly.”

KKMT teacher Pohatu Poutu said taking their kids to the gymnastics festivals required a three-hour drive to Gisborne.

“While many mainstream sports have historically been offered within the Coast community, having a gymnastics festival is considered a great step forward for non-mainstream sports.

“In the past, we have put a lot of emphasis on sports such as netball and rugby, while other sports such as this are left aside,” said Mr Poutu.

The event was held in Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti’s gymnasium, a multi-use sporting facility that caters for basketball, netball, badminton, volleyball and now gymnastics.

The facility was opened in 2016 and has created countless opportunities for those on the Coast to participate in indoor sport.

Mr Poutu attributed some of the success of this event to the new gym and said it would have been very difficult to host such an event without this facility.

“Excitement for the event has been building for months — the kids have been looking forward to this since the start of term.

“Lunch time and interval have been used for doing cartwheels, and practising their routines.”

There is hope this event will grow the sport of gymnastics on the Coast.

“It’s a goal to potentially open a gymnastics club here in Wharekahika,” he said.

Rerekohu teacher Lisa Rudland said there is already demand among students and teachers alike for the event to return next year.

“The joy on the faces of those kids was awesome.

“They loved it.”

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Rawinia Gordon - 3 days ago
The students at Makarika enjoyed the festival - it achieved much more than just gymnastic skills. We the schools here in the East Coast were able to bond, witnessing relationship building between students and staff from all schools. The feeling of togetherness that was felt on the day was truly amazing. To leave the day with participation certificates was a positive bonus for our Tamariki. We hope this becomes an annual event that is situated every year in term 1.
Thank you papa Phil and your amazing team, we loved the festival.

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