|Paulette Leef and her Whānau were honoured to represent Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua at the Aotearoa Māori Basketball Tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
They started in 2016 with just one team and because of the requirement for an iwi affiliation, Paulette who’s is of Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua descent, approached the Runanga and they gave their blessing for her team to represent them. At the time 50 percent of the team were of Rangitāne descent including the Coach and Manager.
This year a total of 8 teams enter the tournament – all representing Rangitāne o Tamaki Nui a Rua.
A Mixed Social who placed 11th in the A Grade. Under 19 Tāne who won a gold medal in the B Grade. Under 19 Wāhine who won a gold medal in the A grade and this is their fifth year representing the Iwi. Under 15 tama placed 11th in the B grade. Under 13 tama placed 8th in the A grade. Under 11 tama placed 7th in the A grade. Under 11 kōtiro placed 5th in the A grade and the Under 9 kōtiro placed 8th in the A grade.
Over 60 percent of the players, managers and coaches that participated in this year’s tournament descend from Rangitāne. Those that are involved come from all over Aotearoa, Australia and even the USA to play or awhi the kaupapa.
Competitors and supporters stayed at Kearoa Marae, which was a great way for everyone to bond and connect with each other and formed friendships that will last a lifetime.
This awesome kaupapa involves great intensity, amazing competition and teams working together to get great results. The Māori Basketball Tournament incorporates all of these aspects as well as being strongly Whānau orientated which means everyone has an awesome time.
All players and management are already looking forward to next year’s tournament with many ideas and plans have already been discussed. Organisers are overwhelmed with how many Whānau and friends want to join the kaupapa and welcome all whānau to come join them in Rotorua 2021 to get some more amazing results.
The aim is to eventually have 20 teams representing, and Paulette welcomes all Whānau of Rangitāne to join the group page on Facebook – Rangitane o Tamaki Nui a Rua Māori Basketball.
It is great to see such a great involvement in this tournament and we look forward to seeing many achievements in the years to come.