Tawa tops in ki-o-rahi

Last updated 09:42 13/11/2012

SWEET VICTORY: Tawa College’s ki-o-rahi team outplayed 12 other schools in the traditional Maori sport at a tournament at Taita College recently.

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Tawa College has won a regional ki- o-rahi tournament organised by College Sport Wellington.

Ki-o-rahi is the modern term for ancient Maori games played on a circular field with a large central target.

This was the second year the regional tournament has been organised at Taita College.

Tawa defeated the host school 22-16 in the final.

Thirteen schools took part, including Mana College, who made it to the semifinals before losing to Tawa.

Whaea Jojo organised the Tawa team last year when the first tournament was held.

This year's team included year 12 students who played ki-o-rahi in PE class and others interested in the traditional sport.

PE teacher Monica Roberts worked alongside mentors in year 12 PE classes preparing the team for the tournament and teaching newcomers rules and strategies.

Tawa's Raysharn Edmonds-Lama - recently selected for the New Zealand under-18 flag team - was named MVP of the tournament.

Peni Van Den Elzen won the sportsmanship award and was the "eyes" of the team at the centre of the field directing defence. Te Rina Higgens was tremendous in her efforts to retain possession of the ki and was named in the tournament team.

Two teams - named Kioma and Taniwha - play against each other on a circular field consisting of three concentric circles.
Each circle constitutes a zone. The outer zone is Te Ao and is 12 metres wide. The middle zone is Te Roto - six metres wide. The central zone is Te Motu.
The aim of the Kioma team is to score tries - tupu manawa - with the ki - a ball made of flax - while the opposing Taniwha team attempts to score hits - tupu wairua - on the large centre target called a tupu. The team which scores the most points or the team which scores 10 times in a row wins the game.

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