Topic: Rugby

Te Wairoa Rugby Academy boys dream big - Feature

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

32 boys from the Wairoa Rugby Academy all dream of travelling overseas to play rugby, with the odds stacked against Wairoa, the team are on a mission to achieve the impossible.

According to chairman James Baty, “For these young boys, rugby is at the top of their priority list.”

The boys have been giving it their absolute best at rugby practice's in the lead up to their first ever trip overseas, a four-week European rugby tour, where they'll play seven matches.

Nikora Smith at 14-years-old is a promising centre, and is part of the newly established Wairoa College Rugby Academy.

Nikora says, “The most important thing is that we go to school, we have the right attitude, we don't smoke, no swearing.”

According to Nikora's mum, Levia Smith, “As parents of children in this day and age, you have to teach them the right ways, keep them on the right path.”

“There are immense pressures on the youth of today but we the family will always be here to support them no matter what.”

Statistics show Wairoa is one of the most socio-economically deprived towns in the country, a town where the average income is well below the national average, a place where it would seem impossible to come up with the $240,000 needed to fund the trip.

James Baty says, “One of the positive characteristics of being part of a small comunity like Te Wairoa, (is) the support that everyone gives, as well as from the board to help them reach this dream of going overseas.”

Rugby is the common denominator that has brought the 32 boys together, who now consider themselves brothers.