Waka Ama Sprint Nationals 2024

Toi Tangata proudly supported the Waka Ama Nationals 2024 week-long event, January 15 to 16. Waka Ama, also known as outrigger canoeing, holds its sprint competition at Lake Karapiro every year and accommodates all ages from as young as five years old to kaumatua. Partnering with the Heart Foundation, we shared insights on kori and hauora, connecting with families through tākaro Māori, traditional games, and giveaways to win our Toi Te Kupu Dictionaries and Toi merchandise. 

Te Whare Manawanui, the joint Toi Tangata and Heart Foundation tent, became a hub for tamariki and whānau, sparking kōrero about health, feelings around waka ama, and broader kaupapa. Other engaging discussions delved into the significance of heart health and the interconnectedness of hauora spaces. In moments of high demand, we collaborated with our neighbours Oral Health and the Stroke Foundation, and also drew inspiration from our counterparts at Te Whatu Ora. Although slightly different kaupapa, our broader goals are intertwined and while we provided education spaces for our whānau and tamariki, we were also able to learn alongside them.

The Heart Foundation offered hua rākau which tamariki were excited to take one or two pieces of. The provision of fruit highlighted the joy of healthy eating that is possible while on a budget and while in season. It reinforced the notion that small gestures, such as a piece of fruit, can make a significant impact. As we move forward, the experience has shaped a mindful approach for the future, acknowledging that everyone learns in their own way and how it is important to embrace adaptability in pursuing health and well-being. 

Looking ahead, we are excited to continue supporting the Heart Foundation again at this kaupapa. Beyond that Toi Tangata remains committed to providing a playful, safe, and caring space for kōrero and tautoko. All felt the ihi, wehi and wana despite the rain meeting us for the second half of the day.