Apr 13, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Flavazum health and fitness whanau supporting new whanau into IRONMAORI 2013

3 min read

Tena koe e nga rangatira.

Ko Leanne White-Haverkamp toku ingoa, He uri au no nga hau e wha, ahakoa tera kua tipu ake ai au i takiwa nei.

Ko au tetahi o nga kaiwhakahaere o te roopu Flavazum Health & Fitness Rotorua. Ko Erin Thompson Pou tetahi atu kaiwhakahaere.

ZumbaTogether Erin and I have a fierce passion to support our iwi into a healthier life change.We commenced as a Zumba fitness group and have trained 12 instructors, and had over 1200 whanau walk into our Zumba classes over the past 3 years

We have discovered that Zumba entices whanau through the doors improves their self esteem and confidence and then this transfers through to their overall well being. Whakawhanaungatanga is our point of difference and our Zumba whanau have now participated in many local events that we have initiated, Eikeden, Tough guy and girl, Tauranga city Surf, Rotorua 1/2 marathon, Rotorua Marathon and the Brooks 1/2 marathon and many other events that we have established ourselves, noho marae, wananga,mini triathlons and open water swims.

IRON MAORIIn 2011 we took 9 tamariki and rangatahi whom we trained ourselves to race in the IRONMAORI tamariki events. The following day we remained and watched the IRONMAORI 1/2 ironman event,we were so inspired by what we had seen, pakeke, kaumatua of all shapes and sizes participating in this event. We returned to Te Arawa with not only a vision to participate ourselves but to take as many with us possible. We had no experience, expertise nor gear/putea to take this on, but with our determination we sucessfully took over 70 to complete the 1/2 ironman and 30 to complete the 1/4 ironman, we also doubled the amount of rangatahi and tamariki.

Erin is a swim coach and taught over 40 of us to swim. But her reach is much further than this number listed as the skills that she has shared with us were skills that we could teach others.

Our main ethos is “PAY IT FORWARD”, that which u learn u must share!

We established regular swim squad trainings, with our tamariki and rangatahi swimming at exactly the sametime. If parents commit to the training programme their tamariki must also fit into our FlavAriki/FlavAtahi trainings too. Bike safety and group rides were also established to ensure the safety of the new rider and to make the ride so pleasant that they would return to ride again!

We did all of this without any putea and all our members gladly invested into their own equipment,uniform and enty fees to the event and pools.

We have a well established relationship with Cyclezone and Aquatics and are very fortunate to have their continued support.

We received the most inspirational award for IRONMAORI, a hug honour considering where we have come from within 12 months and there were over 2100 PARTICIPANTS IN THIS EVENT.

Our proudest moments were our big bruthas, collectively the 3 of them weigh over 550kgs……they completed their disciplines in pain but elated with the success of a winner!

This year we are doing it all over again…….we want whanau with no sporting background but contain a desire to change their lives. Learn a new skill, swim,bike,walk, jog or run. To make all of these changes incidental and to reconnect our whanau with whenua, marae, hapu, maunga awa and all our beautiful lakes o Te Waiariki. Save lives through teaching our whanau to swim as…

…Maori have the highest stats when it comes to drowning.

This work is now being shared with all of our whanau and we have our taonga on display @ the Rotorua Aquatics.

This Friday the 8th March we have an info hui, for all whanau who have been inspired or even considered entering IRONMAORI 2013,6pm Swim Rotorua club, outside pool, no cost.


Whanau – if you want to learn more, please come down to the Whanau Evening or contact Leanne on 027 525 3826.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.