Team AROCA

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Sharon Hawke

AROCA Chair

Sharon has been into waka since early 1980’s. Her first club was Okahu Bay Outrigger Canoe, that was one of the five original clubs in Aotearoa. Her career in film and TV only permitted her to attend the 1990 World Sprints and she re-entered competitive paddling in 2013 and has paddled at most Nationals both sprints and Long distance. Sharon Coaches and paddles for Ocean Blue Sports Club
and is currently AROCA Chair. She has a long-standing passion for waka. She said “it saved my life”

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Louise Henderson

Board Member

Louise Henderson is one of the God Mothers of our sport of Waka Ama. Since 1985 Louise has been involved in Waka Ama at all levels. She has helped to found 2 clubs in Auckland with her late partner (Greg "Ace" Cuthers) and has held various roles in governance in both Auckland and Nationally. Louise was on the Nga Kaihoe o Aotearoa committee until 2008. Louise lives and breathes Waka Ama and for many paddlers in Auckland is one of the reasons why we started paddling. She is a matriarch and a guiding light in our sport and we value so much the time and effort she has dedicated to it.

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Cilla Wicks

Board Member

Cilla has been involved in waka ama for 11 years, starting as a paddler parent to 3 children Jezaya , Jezius & Jakoda and later becoming a paddler herself. With the aid of her 2 fur babies Bubba and Nina and a loving partner Dave she has been able to give back to the sport and her club Manukau Outriggers as a volunteer . This has provided opportunities in many roles at local and out of town events, learning new skills , meeting new people and seeing our people paddle & thrive. Today she is  a board member for AROCA ,  a Committee Member and Equipment Officer for her club. Team Manager for Vaka Manu & #1  supporter to my paddling kids ! I hope to do my region proud as a board member and look forward to what the future has in store .

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Matt Appleyard

Board Member

Matt has been paddling for about 4 years mainly with the mighty Waitākere Outrigger Canoe Club.  Matt has coached junior teams for Waitakere and is a member of the Executive committee.  Matt loves long distance paddling and meeting other waka whānau as he travels frequently around Aotearoa to race.  Matt firmly believes that Waka is the platform for supporting whānau wellbeing and is keen to grow and advance waka ama across the region to enable waka and paddling as a ‘way of life’.

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Cherin Murray

Board Member

Cherin has been part of Waitakere Outrigger Canoe Club for 10+ years thanks to her boys Qdane and Zane )and the many others she has adopted over the years)  who were also the motivation to start paddling. You will find Cherin behind the scenes organising fundamentals for the WOCC juniors & managing teams . Cherin enjoys meeting new waka ama whanau,  volunteering & direct contact with paddlers. Cherin embraces the growth of waka ama within the region by promoting and encouraging tamariki to travel throughout Aotearoa and the rest of the world, through displaying the values that waka ama provides, Maanakitanga and Whanaungatanga. Waka ama is a life style that should be embraced by all! 

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Alfred Motu

Board Member

Alf has been in waka since time immemorial. He too is one of the leaders of the Akarana Club. He stands for fairness and commitment – you show him both and he will be your mate for life. He has an easy going exterior that gives the completion to the AROCA board. He has offered his clubs waka for the last 4x Regionals and consistently supported our paddler whanau across the region. We welcome his fun character and serious nature when the going gets tough.

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Tania Albert

Administration Manager

I started paddling in 2006 when some wahine found me stretching on the side of the road, they invited me to paddle with them and that was with Portage Crossing. I moved to Orakei Water Sports soon after, became club rep and eventually secretary for AROCA and Auckland Junior Co-ordinator for the NZ contingent that went to World Sprints Noumea. In 2015 I helped establish Ocean Blue Sports and in 2020 became the AROCA Admin Manager.