Standing with our partners – volunteering at the Kaumātua Olympics

1 Oct 2019

On 13 September a team of 13 volunteers from the Pinnacle office in Hamilton used their “Make a Difference” volunteering day gifted by the organisation to support the annual Kaumātua Olympics held at The Peak, at Rototuna High Schools.

Led by Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust, a key partner of Pinnacle, the Olympics event celebrated its 15th year with around 40 teams (400+ Kaumātua) involved for 2019.

Having created the games, Rototuna Senior High School students ran each station, explaining the rules and keeping score while the volunteer crews helped their teams around the stations, acting as chief cheerleaders for their teams.

Competition (with the odd bit of cheating) ran high all day long, along with a real sense of aroha felt with most teams hugging, kissing and high-fiving at the conclusion of each game.

“Its a great day to be involved in and support one of our partner organisations who do a lot for the local community,” says Kirsty Carruthers, chief financial officer for Pinnacle and lead organiser of the volunteering group.

Standing with our partners – volunteering at the Kaumātua OlympicsKaumātua playing noodle hockey.

This is the second year Pinnacle has volunteered as a group at the event although staff have assisted in previous years. Last year was so much fun the group of people putting up their hand this year grew easily, with many looking forward to chalking up year three at the event next year too.

“I looked out for my team from 2018 and quickly assigned myself to them when they walked in the door,” says Kirsty. “It was nice re-connecting. Being one of the older and less mobile teams, I feel like I got to really get involved with the event in helping them to participate.”

The games ranged from mental challenges such as ‘sea words’ where Kaumātua sort letter cards into ocean-inspired words, through to the more active Kaumātua-friendly Zumba and the hilarious and extremely competitive noodle hockey. There was also a ‘high tea’ station where students got to practice their hospitality skills on Kaumātua by serving delicious baked treats and a well-deserved cup of tea.

The Rototuna High schools kapa haka group closed the day with an outstanding and moving performance, along with the much-anticipated prize-giving.

The Pinnacle Make a Difference Day programme originated out of an employee-led engagement project in 2016, with many different activities receiving support from teams across the midlands since that time, including sourcing and stacking firewood for elderly patients connected with our extended care teams and helping with outdoor maintenance and gardening for patients.