It was a celebration of good books, story, and the art of reading. The annual Top of the South/Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui Readers Cup competition took place on the 28th June at Nelson College for Girls.
Nayland College sent two teams of Year 9 students to compete against nine other Colleges and 14 other teams who had travelled to Nelson, from Golden Bay through to Marlborough, to contest who would win the Cup this year and go on to represent our region at the Nationals. To prepare for this, all the competing teams had read the same 6 books paying close attention to the details – which is what they would be quizzed on. They had then met regularly throughout the term to swap books and test one another.
To fully prepare on the day, meant dressing up and eating was required; our region always has a prize for the Best Dressed team and there is always a feast of kai. Apparently the carrot cake was a hit this year, closely followed by the chocolate cake and I didn’t notice any unemptied bowls of crisps. We had lots of healthy kai too by the way.
Between rounds of ten questions on each book, there were spot prizes if you answered a general book knowledge question. Whilst the scores were being tallied, we had each team go on stage for general admiration and people voted for who they thought wore it best. This year’s winners were the Motueka Speleologists, togged out in hard hats, ropes and climbing gear. They were inspired by one of the competition books, The Tomo by NZ author Mary-ann Scott.
Then the scores were revealed, starting at the bottom, and making their slow and tension filled way to the top – teams getting more and more excited as their names were NOT called out! The scores are always close at the top and the Nayland teams were right up there. One of our teams finishing in 6th place, and the other team took out third place. Ka mau te wehi – awesome!
Every student who was there went home with at least one new book of their choice and the winners got some extra goodies – plants donated by Mega M10, Gift vouchers from either Whitcoulls, PaperPlus, Volume or Bunnings, Store vouchers from New World Stoke or Movie passes from State Cinema in Nelson. Plus lots of books were donated by our various book suppliers and shops around town. Huge thanks to all of those businesses.
This event was organised by a collaboration (a Collection?!) of Librarians from the competing Schools and we all have a blast too, seeing the fun that our ākonga are having and knowing the joy that a shared love of story brings.
Talking with the students afterwards, they all had a fabulous day, there was a real atmosphere and buzz and they would thoroughly recommend doing it to 2023 Year 9 students. Especially if you like carrot cake.
By Tracey Winslade