A waka ama team has come back from disaster to qualify for the world champs.

The Tuakau based team, Te Waka Tangata o Te Awhinamai, lost their treasured waka in an arson attack last year.

But their world championship dreams were kept afloat thanks to the generosity of a Māori educational institution.

Three waka from the club were set alight earlier this year, weeks before the national championships.

However, the club is resilient, and a fundraising campaign was launched, donations were received and two waka loaned the club.

And it was a job well done out there on Lake Karapiro, as the team last month secured their spot at the world sprints in Tahiti in July.

The team is already grinding and fundraising for their next challenge with the loss of their waka serving as motivation.

A team beating the odds and pulling in the same direction.