Waiheke Waka Ama is hosting an open day on Onetangi Beach on Saturday 24 September from 11am. Photos Peter Russell

Waiheke Waka Ama is hosting an open day on Saturday 24 September from 11am at Onetangi Beach for first timers or people wanting to get back into the sport. The club will provide all the equipment and instruction and put on a sausage sizzle from the Humble Pie Oneroa Butchery. 

The club are always on the lookout for new members and would particularly like to see tamariki paddling again.

The last couple of years have been hard on the club but they are determined to build and share the benefits that waka ama brings to their community. Youth training at Onetangi Beach will also start on 25 September and run every Sunday until December. 

“Waka Ama is one the fastest-growing sports in New Zealand and it is easy to see why,” says Peter Russell from the club. 

“It is an accessible sport for all ages, body types and abilities. It attracts people from all walks of life and brings them together to work as a team. 

“The technical parts of waka ama are easy to pick up. There are competitions all over the country hosted by dozens of clubs. We usually compete as a club and we are sending a mixed team to the long-distance nationals in Whitianga next month but many of our paddlers do it for personal and social benefit over competition.” 

Last month, founding member Noema Cash represented Waiheke as part of an Auckland team that competed at the World Sprint Championships in England. 

“We typically train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm in summer, 4:30pm in winter and 8:30am on Saturdays. The wahine paddle on Sunday mornings says Peter.” 

For more information email wakaamawaiheke@gmail.com or visit  • Jim Birchall

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