Ako and indigenous athletes: Kaupapa māori principles and game sense pedagogy

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Game Sense for Teaching and Coaching: International Perspectives, 2021, pp. 84-95
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The title ‘Ako and Indigenous athletes’ refers to the preferred learning styles for Maori athletes, particularly when adopting a ‘culturally inclusive’ pedagogy in sport. Sport’s influence on the nation’s psyche, especially for Maori culture in rugby, has also been examined. The learning topics therefore are considered an incremental and vital contribution to the overall ‘kaupapa’. Knowledge and learning are often referred to as a taonga (treasure) although, another interpretation of ‘taonga’ in the sport coaching context could be the valuable ‘learnings’ to pass on to athletes. The idea of co-creating knowledge aligns with Maori ontological realities and is consistent with collectivism. Maori have made huge gains from self-development projects including in Education, Health and Broadcasting. Key to these initiatives is meaningful participation in planning processes and autonomy and control over outcomes. An important emphasis is that actions speak, demonstrable through ‘ringa raupa’.
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