Ngāi Tahu today unveiled the special taonga Te Ātanga, the Broadhurst-Shelford Trophy, for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles match against the Vodafone Warriors on June 9 in Christchurch.
The trophy recognises two former Christchurch greats, Mark Broadhurst and Adrian Shelford who represented Manly in the 1980s and 1990s, and started their careers in Canterbury club ruby league.
Manly has committed to a home game in Christchurch for 2018 and 2019 with an option for a third match in 2020 and the trophy will on the line every time Manly takes the field in Christchurch.
The trophy has a particular significance for Adrian Shelford's whānau (family) who whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu, the South Island iwi (tribe) whose tribal takiwā (territory) the game is being played in.
Hami Shelford said his family was honoured by the recognition his brother Adrian received through the trophy. He said that the family remembered Adrian, who passed away in 2003, as a man with the determination and commitment to succeed in everything he did.
"He was a man of strength in many ways, physically, morally and spiritually. He was 100% committed to family and everything he inspired to be, on and off the field."
Mark Broadhurst has been excited about his old club taking the field in his home town, of Christchurch, and having this unique trophy named after him was clearly unexpected.
"I am honoured to be asked along with the late Adrian Shelford and representing Ngai Tahu as ambassadors to the Manly Sea Eagles," said Broadhurst who played for Manly in in 1981-1982, then had a year at the Illawarra Steelers, before three seasons at Hull KR in England.
The taonga trophy was carved and designed by Ngāi Tahu master carver Fayne Robinson, himself an ex-player and keen supporter of league, who also designed the Manly playing jersey for the game, and showcases a mere pounamu (short hand-club) encased in a wood carving.
The name Te Ātanga (my beautiful one, my adornment) comes from "E rere taku kahu ātangatanga – Soar my beautiful eagle". The eagle in flight is a wonderful thing to see, a beautiful vision, referring to the way both teams play the game, with speed and skill, that wows the masses.
The pounamu was gifted by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the trophy was commissioned by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
The pounamu in the trophy is in the form of a short, traditional hand held weapon to express the story of two teams in close combat. "The head at the front of the trophy is acting as a guardian on behalf of the Shelford and Broadhurst whānau", said Fayne.
Lisa Tumahai, Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, said that the trophy and the wider partnership with Manly was a great opportunity to showcase Ngāi Tahu culture and identity and promote health and wellbeing.
"Supporting this game has been an opportunity for Fayne to show his art to the world and promote sport and healthy living to our whānau," says Lisa.
Manly CEO Lyall Gorman said that his club was deeply touched and honoured by this gift from Ngāi Tahu. "And just like the jersey, it underlines Manly's partnership and long-term commitment to the Christchurch community," Gorman said.
Gorman recently received a pōwhiri welcome from Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri at Tuahiwi Marae earlier this year and says that the partnership with Ngāi Tahu has significantly added to the match.
"I want the players to experience the Ngāi Tahu culture the same way that I experienced it during my last visit and make everyone in the club understand that this fixture is much, much more than just another road trip," added Gorman, referring to the pōwhiri welcome the Sea Eagles will enjoy at the Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae on arrival in Christchurch next Tuesday.
Tickets for the game can be purchased here
Buy your Maori jersey here.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Vodafone Warriors
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday June 9