In the field of solidarity and after having worked for a long time in the commune of Pirae, the committee wanted to include all the communes of Tahiti and Moorea in the festivities of the world.
The Va’a Mata’eina’a contest is a race dedicated to the priority districts of Tahiti and Moorea created by the LOC. Thus, on 23 June, the best crews from each commune will compete in Taaone Bay on the water and go’a world championship officials ( https://www.tahitivaa2018.org/fr/sprint-2018/dates-et-infos-cles/). Exceptionally, the finals of the 6 categories will take place on the first day of the world championships. They will be broadcast live on web and TV.
But what does such a project mean to the participants?
Testimonials from municipal referees and athletes
Matirita Marurai municipal referent of Paea
“It is an important moment, a meeting between communes which gives the possibility to be selected for the finals which take place during the World Championships. Of the 6 priority neighbourhoods on Paea, 4 participate, it’s a majority and it’s very positive!”
Honoura Paea rower
“VMC represents for us an opportunity to show the potential that can exist in our commune, but also to have experience and to see our level in relation to others. In our neighborhood we give a lot of our time to participate in training from Monday to Thursday and Saturday. We really feel a great willingness on everyone’s part. Looks like we’re starting to get what’s called “TAHOE” on the Va’a.”
Xavier Etaeta municipal referent of Mahina
“VMC has brought us closer to priority neighbourhoods. Thanks to this, the associations of the priority districts came to us to have more information for certain future projects to plan, but always for the va’a. We were thus able to provide them with some useful training, such as how an association works. We can say that CMV has been the “trigger” for our future projects with priority neighbourhood associations.”
Laoana participating athlete from Tuauru to Mahina
“VMC is an important and interesting moment for us. A competition like this motivates our young people and makes them want to try a sport from home. Many participants are novices and are introduced to Va’a. Our teams are made up of young people who had nothing to do during their free time. It gives them an occupation.”
Yann Paa municipal referent of Pirae
“Training really has a positive impact and is an “occupation” for our youth. Seeing them really get into the sport, rather than the streets doing nothing is really a good thing. We can even say that it changes their daily lives, because they are really motivated. They’re really diligent in training, even during exercise, they’re playful and dedicated to the sport.”
Norbert participating athlete from Hamuta district in Pirae
“VMC is a way for me to test myself. To see what my current level is. But also to get out of the neighborhood a little and especially even new face, and maybe make new friends. It is also an occupation for us young people motivated by competition. Some will no longer hang out on the streets and avoid drugs too.”
Maruhi Temauarii municipal referent of Taiarapu West
“It is an important cultural event. It’s a local sport that allows us to get closer to our young people. But above all to occupy them and get them out of the neighbourhoods in which they live. The youth is really enthusiastic about preparing this tournament. You could say they’re getting involved in this competition.”
Maire V6 female athlete 500 Taiarapu West
“At first, the VMC is a challenge in the context where we will have to row against the other communes. It is also a discovery for some young people like me. You learn more about sports. Knowing that we are going to row against the other municipalities really motivates us a lot, a competition between all the municipalities of Tahiti and Moorea is a way to open ourselves to others. And maybe make new friends outside our respective neighborhoods.”
Tekuhei CHAN, Papeete’s municipal referent
“We have 4 educators and they really play the game. Today, we can see an improvement in rowers’ behaviour, attendance and punctuality. The level of our teams is rising sharply.”
Taiana TEAMAHAHE, 2nd captain of the female crew – Estall – Papeete district
“The key to being able to progress in the va’a is to be attentive, motivated and have team spirit. The hardest thing for me is having to leave my family and come home late. On the positive side of training, I noticed that I changed my behaviour and my way of thinking. A message for young people: I advise them to do va’a. It can change you, change the way you live and react, but also the way you feel good about yourself.”