Kia rite! Kia rite!* for the Olympics! (*That’s ‘Get ready! Line up!’ in Maori)

Kids and teachers at Hanslope School do daily morning exercise before classes
Kids and teachers at Hanslope School do daily morning exercise before classes

STAFF, pupils and parents at Hanslope School may not be professional rugby stars – but they have at least mastered the Hakka.

The traditional Maori war dance has become a regular part of the school day as part of its Olympic preparation.

Ahead of the 2012 Games, the school pledged to engage in some kind of collective physical activity.

And so the Hakka workout was born, an 8.45am daily event which has since more than 270 adults and children take to the school playground every morning since June 12 to get fit.

The sessions have been accompanied by music from Flo Rida – something the original New Zealand performers of the Hakka probably didn’t do.

As well as the keep fit sessions, the school’s Olympic theme has seen international flag bunting put up along the corridors, Olympic values trees added to the hall, country specific flags put on each classroom door and displays added across the school promoting a plethora of activities and information related to the global event.

The Hanslope Hakka will take place every day until the end of the term, with new steps, moves and music interwoven to provide variety and sustain interest levels.

Parents, Mr and Mrs Jackson, who have three children at the school, said: “It’s a motivating and energetic way to start the school day – engaging brains for learning.

“It’s lovely to see parents, teachers and children all working together.”