Tairawhiti Rising Legend Kaiya Huta is on a mission to become the world’s first Māori Olympic trampolinist. The 15 year-old took out the top medals at this weekend’s Trampoline Nationals. His next big goal is the 2018 Youth Olympics.
He’s the top trampolinist in NZ for his age grade. This year the Gisborne based teenager claimed gold in the synchronized tramp and silver in the double-mini tramp at Auckland’s Trampoline Nationals.
Kaiya Huta (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) says, “When you’re on the tramp it’s just your moment.”
What was an afterschool hobby is now a passion for Kaiya. After choosing between a trampoline and a rugby ball at the age of nine, Kaiya’s sport of choice is one he hasn’t regretted, winning multiple domestic and world medals over the years.
Huta says, “I’ve been to four Australia nationals, I’ve won a lot there and I’ve been to South Africa for the Indo-Pacific games. Came second and I’ve been to the Worlds in Denmark.”
Doug Callahan (Coach) says, “He coaches for me and the kids look up to him and he’s really good to train.”
The TKKM o Ngā Uri a Maui student says although there are not many Māori trampolinist, he hopes to become the first Māori Olympic trampolinist.
Huta says, “Like 2020 is to go to the Olympics in Japan, yeah that’s my real goal. Be the first Māori to go to the Olympics.”
Callahan says, “If he puts the training in, and he does a lot of conditioning he will make it.”
But his big leap will be gaining entrance to the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.