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Implementation of Ki-o-Rahi, a traditional Māori game, for development of fundamental movement skills

Awarded $491,480 in funding
Over 2 years, starting in 2022 via Mission-led research

University of Waikato

Early development of fundamental movement skills (FMS) promotes motor competence that is deeply interconnected with all domains of child health and development.

Children who move skilfully have better opportunities to interact with their world, their social and cognitive skills are superior and they tend to be more physically active.

This project, led by Professor Rich Masters of the University of Waikato, will look at the traditional pre-European Māori game, Ki-o-Rahi, which provides a unique, culturally-grounded context in which FMS can be learned by young children as they play.

Working closely with experts in kawa and tikanga, and listening closely to teachers, whānau and communities, researchers will co-develop, and validate, an appropriate form of Ki-o-Rahi that can be used by schools not only to promote movement competence in young children of all ethnicities, but also to promote tikanga-rich cross-ethnicity understanding of Māori (and Pacific) values and ways of knowing.

Researchers believe that an intervention tailored for young children, and underpinned by Ki-o-Rahi, will lay the groundwork for skilful movement, which translates to successful learning for life.

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