Fun and games at Eden Park

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Morgan

More than 200 kids from lo­cal schools got the chance to mix it up with their rugby he­roes dur­ing the Blue­beard Kids Day at Eden Park on Wed­nes­day.

The pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school­child­ren got to in­ter­act with the likes of Keven Mealamu, John Afoa and Justin Collins in drills and minigames.

The chil­dren were wel­comed to the event on the main field, be­fore mov­ing on to the outer oval to take part in the ac­tion.

Owairaka school pupil Charles Salt, 10, says it was a great day out in the sun.

“It’s fun to run around and play.”

And 12-year-old Eric Collins from Waikowhai In­ter­me­di­ate says get­ting to meet some of the Blues play­ers was “re­ally cool”.

Blues flanker Justin Collins thinks the day is a “su­perb” way for the Blues to meet their young fans.

“They’re run­ning around and yelling, en­joy­ing them­selves and they get to meet some of the play­ers they only see on TV or at the games,” he says.

Hooker Keven Mealamu says hang­ing out with the young­sters is a great way to break up the nor­mal rou­tine.

“It’s good to get away from the train­ing field and there’s a lot of smiles around which makes it a nice day as well.”

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

Team ef­fort: Auck­land prop John Afoa hang­ing out with stu­dents from Kowhai In­ter­me­di­ate.

Gotcha: Blues flanker Justin Collins catches up with Charles Salt, 10, from Owairaka school in a game of tag.

Go­ing for it: Kilu Akavola, 12, from Waikowhai In­ter­me­di­ate bursts down the field at the Blue­beard Kids Day at Eden Park.

Sign me up, above: Blues hooker Keven Mealamu signs au­to­graphs for ea­ger fans from Mt Eden Nor­mal Pri­mary at Eden Park.

Send it wide, left: Lewis Coul­son, 7, from Mt Eden Nor­mal Pri­mary passes the ball dur­ing rugby drills.

Some­thing blue, right: Auck­land mas­cot Blue­beard gets to know some keen rugby fans from Owairaka school.

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