Mātātoa: Championing te reo Māori and functional fitness

Pipiri saw the birth of the first ever reo Māori CrossFit-style competition, Mātātoa, combining two passions of its creators; te reo Māori and physical activity. The brainchild of the Kapa-Kingi triplets Heemi, Tipene, and Eru, the competition saw over 160 athletes from all over the motu battle it out in three mixed pairs divisions.

The brothers, who hail from Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Waikato, and Te Whānau ā Apanui, saw an opportunity to bring together those who are passionate about te reo Māori and hauora and to normalise not only the use of te reo Māori but the presence of Te Ao Māori within functional fitness. With the deep understanding that the language flourishes when it is used every day, the brothers see Mātātoa not only as a vehicle to keep te reo Māori relevant, but as a means to create a meaningful impact in flipping the negative statistics and narrative regarding the health of our reo and tangata Māori. 

They acknowledge it would not have been possible without the overwhelming amount of support they received from the community pitching in to help in any way possible such as funding from Te Mātāwai, The Box for hosting the event, the gyms who donated gear to use at the event and all the volunteers who helped out on the day. Moving forward the brothers are already planning next year’s event to be bigger and better with the hopes of creating an event that is as successful as Iron Māori, which is where they initially found the inspiration for the event.

Tipene, Eru, and Hēmi Kapa-Kīngi