SBW gives dancers advice
All Black Sonny Bill Williams has helped members of an Auckland youth dance company turn a negative experience into a positive one.
The HighJinx performers, aged 13 to 16, were subjected to ‘‘vulgar’’ sexual comments when they performed at the Kingsland train station ahead of the first test in Auckland last month. The girls were asked by some fans to perform a sex act and give lap dances.
After they went public with their experiences, New Zealand Rugby stepped in and invited them to Eden Park for the captain’s run on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s decider against the Lions.
After the training All Blacks midfield back Ryan Crotty and then Williams stopped by for selfies, with Williams handing out advice as well.
‘‘We had an awesome chat with Sonny Bill about strength, and turning bad experiences into posi- tive memories,’’ troupe director Carlene Newall De Jesus said.
Dancers Connie, 14, and Ella, 13, who spoke out about the abuse, felt their actions had highlighted unacceptable behaviour.
Connie said she was thrilled to meet one of her sporting heroes.
‘‘My life is complete now, I’ve met Sonny Bill.’’
She applauded New Zealand Rugby for reaching out because it highlighted that the behaviour the girls were subjected to was totally unacceptable.
Members of the HighJinx troupe, who were sexually harassed by rugby fans, take a selfie with Sonny Bill Williams.