War­riors kick off League in Li­braries


It was, per­haps, the most noise Chartwell Li­brary has ever ex­pe­ri­enced on a Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Sport­ing match­ing War­riors jack­ets, the schoolkids flocked around War­riors play­ers Manu Vatu­vei and Ata Hingano, former War­rior Jerome Ropati and Kiwi Fern Ge­or­gia Hale.

Af­ter win­ning a cre­ativewrit­ing com­pe­ti­tion, Year 4 classes from Bankwood Pri­mary School and Ro­to­tuna Pri­mary School spent the af­ter­noon par­tic­i­pat­ing in the League in Li­braries pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme helps kids with lit­er­acy and cre­ative writ­ing, in­cor­po­rat­ing the War­riors. It was the first time it has come to Hamil­ton since its launch 10 years ago.

Ropati, War­riors com­mu­nity am­bas­sador, said it was great to ex­tend the pro­gramme be­yond Auck­land.

‘‘It’s very im­por­tant that kids don’t think that sport is an iso­lated abil­ity. Sports­peo­ple know how to read, write and com­mu­ni­cate, too.

‘‘And for kids to meet the play­ers - that en­cour­ages and in­spires them also.’’

Bankwood Pri­mary stu­dents Rikailah Col­lier and Spencer Drake were ex­cited to meet the War­riors play­ers be­fore Fri­day night’s game against the St Ge­orge Illawarra Dragons.

Bankwood Pri­mary School teacher Dianne Rouse said the day was a high­light for the kids. ‘‘The kids were re­ally ex­cited, as they don’t get to leave school­grounds of­ten,’’ she said.

‘‘For some of these boys, it’s been a real high­light from them. And the girls have been just as en­thu­si­as­tic too.’’

Rouse said her kids are good read­ers, but strug­gle with writ­ing.

‘‘That’s why this is awe­some, be­cause now that we’ve had this ex­pe­ri­ence we can go back to the class­room re­ally mo­ti­vated and spend the af­ter­noon writ­ing.’’

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil li­brar­ian Aaron Martin said li­brary staff were de­lighted to be part of the de­but pro­gramme in Hamil­ton.

‘‘Li­braries have a core role in de­vel­op­ing lit­er­acy in our com­mu­ni­ties, and if we can do that col­lab­o­rat­ing with high-pro­file pro­fes­sional ath­letes the chil­dren look up to, then that’s even bet­ter.’’

He hopes to con­tinue the re­la­tion­ship with the pro­gramme in Hamil­ton.

Bankwood Pri­mary School pupils Rikailah Col­lier, Ju­nior Lamese, Josiah Sao and Spencer Drake hang out with Ata Hingano.

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