Iconic local business supports grassroot sporting talent

Feb 16, 2023

Building a strong connection with community is one of the core values of Shotover Jet, and the launch of Te iti Kahuraki is set to further cement the iconic tourism business in the heart of Tahuna Queenstown’s sporting whānau.

Launched in November 2022, Te iti Kahuraki is an athletic sponsorship programme to support the sporting journey of athletes aged 5-16 years old who live in the Queenstown Lakes Region.

Pictured: 11-year-old mountain biker Riley Baker (Image: Scott Lyons Photography www.slyonsphoto.com)

Four talented youngsters were selected in December as the inaugural recipients of the programme which provides 12 months of sponsorship with a package valued at $2500 to support their chosen sport.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism General Manger Jolanda Cave says the programme is a natural extension of Shotover Jet’s values of manaakitanga (looking after our people), rangatiratanga (leadership), tohungatanga (expertise) and kaitiakitanga (stewardship).

The programme’s name Te iti Kahuraki is inspired by the whakataukī “Whāia te iti kahuraki, ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei” – “Seek the distant horizon, should you bow your head let it only be to a lofty mountain.”

“We hope this programme will allow young aspiring athletes to aim high and be undeterred by small obstacles,” says Jolanda.

“Our team were amazed at how many talented athletes applied for Te iti Kahuraki, and the range of their chosen sports.

“The selection process to choose only four athletes from the deep pool of local talent was difficult, but we’re thrilled to now have 11-year-old mountain biker Riley Baker, 14-year-old dancer Priya White (pictured above), 8-year-old skier Ruari Spence and 11-year-old BMXer Jono Hansen as our 2023 Te iti Kahuraki recipients.”

Over the next twelve months Riley, Priya, Ruari and Jono’s pursuit of their sporting dreams will be shared across Shotover Jet’s social media channels.

Find out more about the 2023 recipients on the Shotover Jet website here.

Applications for the 2024 intake of Te iti Kahuraki will open in November 2023.

Main image (Supplied/Lokyee Photography): Te iti Kahuraki recipient Priya White from Wānaka

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