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The Hunters Are Hunted

Waiheke Weekender, 7 April 2016 by Julianne Evans

Fresh out of Mongolia, 'Wildtag' launched at Wild on Waiheke in the Summer of 2015.  The game, a kind of archery tag, takes place on the Wildtag 'Battlefield' at Wild on Waiheke and is a fun cross between paintball, dodgeball and archery. The objective is to defeat your opponents by scoring as many points as possible, and at the same time avoiding being hit yourself.

Wild on Waiheke is on the first venues in New Zealand to host the sport and managing director Keryn Matthews says it's been a real hit among groups of friends, corporate groups, for pre and post-wedding celebrations, and even children's parties.

Keryn says the game suits all fitness levels - with stealth snipers able to stake out 'bunkers' as the speed demons dart from cover to cover.

And at the end of the game there's the optional extra of a waterbomb round, a fantastic way to cool off.

For safety, special bows and foam-tipped arrows are used, and players wear safety masks, gloves and armbands. Trainers or sneakers are the recommended footwear.

Archery in Mongolia has had a long and famous history among Mongols, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one form or another. The festival has it's origin in the military parades and sporting competitions such as archery, horse riding and wrestling, that followed celebrations of various occasion, including weddings or spiritual gatherings.

It later served as a way to train soldiers for battle.

The Wild on Waiheke team has been getting in plenty of practice at the 20th century version at their monthly staff parties and claim to be the current champions.

Next summer, they plan to host a hospitality sector tournament to battle it out in a Wildtag Championship, so potential challengers are encouraged to get some practice in to have a chance to knock them off their perch.