Entries open for inaugural NZ Secondary Schools Canoe Racing National Championships

Canoe Racing NZ is thrilled to share that March 2024 will see the inaugural New Zealand Secondary Schools Canoe Racing National Championships held at Lake Tikitapu in Rotorua. 

Entries are now open for this year’s event which will proudly run in conjunction with the 2024 Waka Ama Secondary School Nationals – a unique collaboration between the two sports. Racing will include single person kayaks in 250m sprints and distance events (between 1.5-2.5km depending on age groups) as well as 4x100m school team relay races. 

Age group divisions will be 14 years & under, 16 years & under, 18 years & under, and will also include para-canoe for disabled paddlers. 

This inclusive and paddler-focused event will allow secondary school students Year 9 and above to represent their school, participate and compete for national secondary school titles and enjoy their sport alongside their peers. 

This is a School Sport New Zealand sanctioned event. 

“We are excited to have another event on the Canoe Racing domestic calendar for our youth kayaking community to come together and enjoy the comradery of secondary school sport,” said Graham Oberlin-Brown, CRNZ Chief Executive Officer. 

“More importantly, we also hope this event will present more opportunities and pathways for new kayakers to enter and enjoy our sport.” 

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Waka Ama NZ, who are known for putting on incredible events, and thank them for allowing us to join in on their event. We look forward to seeing waka ama rangatahi participating in the kayaking events, and vice versa.” 

To reduce the barriers of entry for this event and ensure a level playing field, CRNZ is providing race craft and equipment across all age groups. 

There will also be Try Kayaking and practice sessions in the craft available throughout the week. 

This event is Canoe Racing NZ’s first step towards developing and growing an active secondary school kayaking community, with a plan in place to expand the event over the next five years to include more events and focus on team boats (K2 and K4). 

For the initial 2024 event, kayaking races will be interspersed between waka ama races on Lake Tikitapu. The event will kick off with the distance events on Wednesday afternoon, followed by the K1 250m racing and school team relays over Thursday and Friday. 

Online entries are open now. Paddlers can only be entered through their school, so must contact their school sport coordinator. 

Further event details including entry information and schedule are available in the 2024 NZSS Canoe Racing National Championships Event Guide