The epic regional battle for dominance between Raetihi, Ohākune and Waiouru is back this Sunday as the annual fight for the Top Town crown begins. Back to defend their title at the Raetihi Domain and Recreational area, Waiouru team coordinator Warrant officer Class 2 Solomon Vaetoru said his group is starting to shape up well. "This is a great opportunity to bring everyone together through comradeship and enjoyment, that's what I like to think Top Town does. Teams were really pulling together and helping each other. Last year some people knew each other, some didn't and they all came together to enjoy each other's company."
Bringing people together to compete in a Top Town style event also provides an opportunity to celebrate the region as a whole. "Often as towns, because we are so isolated we've a tendency to do things separately. Last year there were a lot of people in the team I hadn't met or seen before and having the different age groups really helps to break down the barriers within our community. Having the three towns competing against each other helps us grow together as a region."
Working with Ruapehu Whānau Transformation, last year Mr Vaetoru organised a wide range of challenges for the event. In anticipation of needing a mentally and physically team, his group for Sunday is shaping up to be a strong cross-section of talent. "I'd like to think last year went exactly how I thought it would go with people enjoying themselves. The atmosphere, the feeling, it was people having fun, adults and kids doing something they wouldn't normally do on a Sunday afternoon."
There are still some limited places available in the Raetihi, Ohākune and Waiouru teams but numbers are capped with each team of 20 needing representatives in the 13-16, 17-25, 26-40 and 41+ age groups. For more information on this Sunday's Top Town or to register for one of the teams please call the Ngāti Rangi office on 0800 N RANGI.