Tough waka ama training pays off
Manurewa High School are toasting their domination of the Auckland secondary schools waka ama championships at the Orakei Basin.
The four titles they won - the division two W6 and W12 mixed and division two boys and girls W6 - represent one of their best efforts at the annual regatta.
The coach Melina Martene is stoked with the result which she says is a payoff for the gruelling training regime the Year 9 and 10 students had to undergo as part of their preparation.
They spent six weeks in training at Martene's Pakuranga Outrigger Canoe Club and at school during lunch hours where they focused on core strength and conditioning.
"We knew we had to train particularly hard and effectively to compete with other schools which have much more water time and experience than us," says Martene who doubles as the school's head of sport.
"The crews were really raw and disjointed when we started but I knew there was potential. I was honest with the kids from the start about the standard of competition and where we needed to be at the end of the six weeks.
"I think this helped them understand why the trainings were so intense and demanding and ultimately this motivated them to rise to high expectations."
Each rower was given specific goals, Martene says. The goals depended on whether the rower had a realistic chance of winning a medal or whether they were preparing for next year.
"I think everyone was happy with what they achieved but they are by no means satisfied with what they've done.
"They all want to place first and it's great to see and hear kids who are ambitious, motivated and determined."
The division two boys' champions are Josh Palupe, Lex Pohahau, Joseph Ligaliga, Mosese Teuhema and Duane Malupo and the champion division two girls crew comprised Taharangi Kingi, Pearl Rhind, Jocelyn Waddell, Drew Ofanoa and Rosiah Telelina Crichton.
Seven other teams from Manurewa High School made championship finals.
In other results James Cook High School won the girls' division one and mixed W6 crowns.