Kaumātua Olympics strengthen ties between young and old

18 September 2018.

Around 300 people took part in the annual event.

Three hundred elderly people from throughout the North Island took part in the 14th Annual Kaumātua Olympics held at The Peak, at Rototuna High Schools last week.

Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (RKCT) CEO, Rangimahora Reddy, says Friday’s event was different compared to previous years.

“Our previous games have been mighty, but this year’s event has been in a league of its own,” says Mrs Reddy.

“The change for us was being hosted by Rototuna High Schools in their beautiful venue and having our tamariki working with our kaumātua, developing games and logistics. It’s been a great success.”

It was certainly a successful event for the local organisation, with Rauawaawa Kaumātua Trust’s Korowai team winning the event, along with the ‘Best Banner’ award. Second and third place went to Raukawa and Ngaruahine respectively, while the ‘Best Dressed’ accolade went to Te Arawa’s Pakaru Tinana.

“Having the trophy come back is amazing,” says Mrs Reddy. “We’ve had a drought for over five years so it’s really nice to see Rauawaawa being a prize-winner.”

Rototuna Senior High School deputy principal, Heemi McDonald, says the event has been months in the making for the students.

They created the games, organised the rules, did the scoring, and worked in partnership with other students in the school to make the games possible, including trade students who constructed some of the activities.

“It’s been a really amazing opportunity for us to see our kids in action. The intention is to establish a lasting relationship with Rauawaawa and other community organisations. We’ve had grand ideas about doing more in the future, but we want to make sure that we can support our tamariki to be part of that process, so we don’t take over.

“They had opportunities to lead the event and looked out for the needs of the kaumātua. I saw some really awesome things from our students. Living out our school values through our community is pretty amazing to see.”

Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust thanks the planning committee, Rototuna High Schools, Bupa, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, all the volunteers, Olympiads, spectators, supporters and stall holders for their support of the 2018 Kaumātua Olympics.