Mon 19 Jun

Cultivating Community Through Sport: The Impact of 'Rugby for Life'

In the spirit of camaraderie and shared love for the sport, a fresh initiative titled 'Rugby for Life' is sweeping across Northland rugby clubs

On a typical Saturday afternoon at the Whangaruru Rugby Club, situated 45 minutes northeast of Whangārei, the ambiance was anything but ordinary. The reason? A special guest was in attendance: Sir Graham Henry. His mission, as he explained to Newshub, was simple, "I just want to encourage young people to play sport."

The Whangaruru Club, despite having introduced junior rugby only this year, is making significant strides. With three teams already established and plans for expansion to six in the pipeline, the club stands as a testament to the power of sport in fostering community. Simon Mitchell, chair of the Whangaruru sports complex, commented on the club's growth, noting, "What the growth of this club has done for us, is given the opportunity for our kids to play and get that sense of belonging and community."

Indeed, the sentiment of community runs deep in Whangaruru, with Rugby for Life coordinator, Waipu Stone, observing, "Whangaruru rugby has always been a massive part of our community... it's kind of the only place you can go and not be judged."

The small town, with its school, marae, church, and sports facilities, now places greater hope in its sports facilities to serve as a positive influence on the community. Simon Mitchell added, "One of the sayings Rugby for Life uses is 'a kid in sport is a kid out of court.'"

Having seen the benefits Rugby for Life is yielding in Whangaruru, Sir Graham Henry, an inspirational figure and a motivational speaker represented by Essential Talent, expressed his desire to see the initiative implemented more widely. "I think they learn a lot about themselves by playing, and they make a lot of good mates," he remarked.

The initiative is a tangible example of what Graham often highlights - the ability of motivation and sport to uncover and nurture 'essential talent.' It reinforces the belief that, in the end, it's not just about playing a game. It's about creating an inclusive, empowering community that nurtures talent, builds character, and strengthens bonds.

For Essential Talent and Sir Graham Henry, this initiative encapsulates the true essence of sport: its ability to go beyond the field and become a transformative force in people's lives. The journey of Whangaruru Rugby Club is a testament to the power of motivation, sport, and community – a triumphant tale that is sure to inspire many more.

Related posts

Wed 05 Jun

"singing with him in front of 1000 people and a backing band was such an awesome moment I’ll never forget"

Tue 04 Jun

The NSW Blues have made a groundbreaking move by adding Gilbert Enoka to their team for the 2024 State of Origin series.

Wed 29 May

Daniel didn’t shy away from the backlash. He took full responsibility for the mistake, publicly apologising and owning up to the error