Ki O Rahi a hit with WGHS students

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Aoraki Secondary School sport director Shaun Campbell and former Black Sox pitcher Greg Newton visited Waitaki Girls’ High School on Friday to introduce the students to Ki O Rahi over two training sessions.

Ki O Rahi is a ball sport played with a small round ball called a ‘ki’.

The game is widely known in Māori communities and in scattered mainstream locations throughout New Zealand. It is a fast-paced sport incorporating skills similar to Australian Rules, rugby union, netball and touch.

Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones and score points by touching the ‘pou’ (boundary markers) and hitting a central ‘tupu’ or target. The game is played with varying rules depending on the geographic area it is played in.

A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

Greg Newton said the aim of the visit was to teach the basic rules of the game and to try and encourage interest in the event.

“The girls were great and picked up the game of Ki O Rahi very quickly,” he said.

“There are a number of rules and zones the girls can and can’t enter in and there are two ways of scoring, which is different from other sports, but the girls did really well. It is hoped that permanent markings can be planned for schools to use, as there is minimal equipment needed to play.

“Waitaki girls school are keen to be part of the Ki O Rahi Aoraki secondary schools tournament to be held in Timaru.”

Aoraki will be introducing Ki O Rahi on December 2 in Timaru as a junior year 9 and 10 tournament.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Waitaki Girls’ High School students Melissa King, izzy Hurst, and Xiaoyu Chen with former Black Sox pitcher Greg Newton and  Aoraki Secondary School Sport Director Shaun Campbell.