Regional | Hākinakina

Whānau support drives Wainohu to succeed

Champion Waka Ama paddler Gaibreill Wainohu has been named as a finalist in the 2019 Matariki Awards for the Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers category.

“Knowing that they expect things and me just wanting to fulfil those expectations and also self-motivation, I have goals in life and I am striving to achieve those I am striving to work towards those”, says Gaibreill Wainohu.

Consistency is key for Wainohu who trains twice a day, six days a week. Not only is she out there with her crew on the rivers of Tūranga but off the water as well, putting in work at the gym.

“It is to help get our lungs prepared our muscles prepared our mind prepared, just everything in general prepared, Aunty Kiwi (Campbell) always tells us if you're light on your feet you'll be light on the water”, says Gaibreill Wainohu.

A world-class paddler from Horouta Waka Hoe Club in Tūranga, Gaibriell Wainohu was the 2018 Māori Junior Sportswoman and is humbled by the nomination for the 2019 Matariki Awards.

“Love getting my mum out of Gisborne love taking her along with me getting dressed up too but just being there being amongst the greatness of everyone around the country // just hearing about all the different things that they do all the good that they do and how well everyone achieves as well”, says Wainohu.

The fastest growing sport in Aotearoa, Wainohu wants to see another push for Waka Ama to be included in the Olympics.

“I think that it would bring more people in and it would be taken more seriously by others that don't really understand the sport or don't do it and they'll be able to see just how committed everyone is just how serious everyone takes it”, says Wainohu.

The Matariki Awards 2019 will be held in June.