For the first time our Tāne (Men) made the finals of the 2018 Māori National Tournament held in Rotorua. Starting as underdogs and having a low profile in the competition, the Tāne brought intensity and magic to break their way past a strong Waikato-Tainui in the semi and make the final against Ngāti Toa. They went down in the final but learnt a lot from the experience.

Temperatures during the competition during Auckland Anniversary soared into the late 30s, with some venues reaching 42 degrees. Keeping cool, drinking plenty of water and resting immediately after games became essential for teams to keep energy levels high.

‘We had a strong showing across all our grades. All but one of our eleven teams came in the top 6 in Aotearoa’ says chairperson, Antoine Coffin. ‘Four of our teams made finals and came away with silver medals i.e U13 Kōtiro, U13 Tama Tuakana, U13 Tama Teina and Tāne with one bronze for U17 Tama. Our haka and waiata were strong, our whānau support was awesome and we played good clean basketball. This was a successful campaign’.

The Kōmiti Whakahaere is looking forward to reviewing the feedback from coaches and management to start planning for our next campaign. Antoine believes the club may possibly outgrow the national tournament. ‘We registered 14 teams, but only 11 were able to play due to the tournament being full and teams were dropped. We had enough players to make another 4 teams. Just think, 20 teams, that’s a tournament on its own. Ideally, we would like all our players to experience Māori Nationals’. The club is grateful to major sponsors Te Puni Kōkiri, Toi Oho Mai Institute of Technology, Sports Bay of Plenty and Te Onewa Consultants for their support throughout the campaign.