Te Puku o Te Ika Outrigger Canoe Association (TPOTI) has received a grant of $8,321 from NZCT towards covering the cost of safety boats, sound system, timing tower, venue hire, and traffic management.
The funding TPOTI has received from NZCT will help to support the annual Regional Sprint event that is held at Lake Karapiro, which is also the venue for the National Sprint events. The annual regatta provides an opportunity for whanau in the local communities to take part in the important cultural traditions of waka ama. The size of the region draws a large number of participants and Lake Karapiro has become the home to the regatta because it is the only one that can cater for this volume.
TPOTI Administration Manager Rebecca Boyce commented: “There are many benefits that come from running our regional event in the same place as the nationals, including the opportunity for participants to familiarise themselves with the course with lanes set up, so it is not such a daunting challenge when it comes to nationals. Size-wise, TPOTI needed to make the move to a large venue because the number of participants and supporters had outgrown other venues within the region.
“Participants range in age from five years old through to over eighties and it's rare to have a sport in which several generations can compete at the same event. The generous funding from NZCT enables us to run an event that encourages everyone to participate, from newbies all the way through to experienced paddlers. Without this NZCT grant, the regatta would have to be funded through increased participant entry fees which would reduce the ability of many whanau to participate.”
TPOTI is the legal entity that governs Waka Ama Outrigger Canoeing in the central North Island, one of six regions in New Zealand, covering Tuakau across to Coromandel, down the east coast through to Whakatane, across to Taupo, and then across to Taranaki and up the West Coast. The region has twenty clubs, several of which were established over thirty years ago and some only in the last year.