The supreme winner of the Maori sports awards says it's 'cool' to continue a waka paddling tradition in a modern way.
The sprint canoeist, Lisa Carrington, received the award at the weekend - and says she hopes she's a beacon of inspiration to young Maori.
Carrington - who won a gold medal at the London Olympics - says she thinks about her tupuna while competing.
She says she thinks about where she's from - and that makes her who she is.
The 23-year-old - of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki - says she wears her pounamu pendant on the water all of the time and it's special to have piece of home with her.