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.