Massey University was crowned the new Tertiary Spirit Champion last month, at the conclusion of the 2022 National Tertiary Championship Series.
After two years of disruptions, the University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) National Tertiary Championship has brought all eight universities together to compete in eight tournaments across a range of sports throughout this year.
The final tournament, the National Tertiary Netball Championships, was followed by a prizegiving event that saw Massey University be awarded Te Kaitiaki, with University of Auckland receiving the UTSNZ Shield and title of National Tertiary Champions.
Te Kaitiaki is UTSNZ’s National Tertiary Spirit Champion Award that was introduced last year. The award recognises the tertiary institution that best demonstrates the spirit of the championship series and displays high levels of passion and sportsmanship across the year. After each tournament, the university teams score each other against a set criteria. The votes tallied at the end reveal the university with the highest spirit score, and this year Massey came out on top with 53 points.
UTSNZ expressed that Massey received this award due to “consistently demonstrating sporting mana with teams and participants upholding the values of kotahitanga, manaakitanga, and rangatiratanga both on and off the field.”
Sports Advancement Coordinator Chris Sharrock attended the prizegiving to accept the award for Massey, and says that it’s a huge honour for the university to be the second ever winners of Te Kaitiaki.
“It’s a reflection of what these UTSNZ sport events mean to the student community. The drive to come together as teams for these events show how much the students have missed the competitive environment these tournaments provide, and the life-long connections they are able to make through meeting new people, both from different Massey campuses and with other institutions.”
The te reo Māori word kaitiaki refers to a guardian, protector, or caretaker of something sacred, meaning that as recipients of this award, Massey has been bestowed guardianship duties of protecting and promoting the spirit of the National Tertiary Championships into next year.
Te Kaitiaki will have pride of place in the trophy cabinet at the Recreation Centre on the Manawatū campus.