Cel­e­brat­ing sports in Aotea Col­lege

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Aotea Col­lege’s ‘‘ Spor­tac­u­lar’’ event is com­ing to­gether nicely, with at least one ex-in­ter­na­tional fronting up.

The day of sport next Wed­nes­day (June 29) be­gins with golf at Judge­ford Golf Course from 9am, with Welling­ton rep­re­sen­ta­tive Imo­gen Don­nelly-Lawrence tak­ing on all-com­ers.

Later, there is bas­ket­ball (1.30pm), net­ball (1.30pm), foot­ball (2pm) and rugby (2.30pm), with cur­rent first teams tak­ing on alumni and ‘‘in­vi­ta­tional’’ play­ers.

Money raised through spon­sor­ship and do­na­tions will be put to­wards flood­lights and the resur­fac­ing of two courts.

One old boy who will be pulling on his boots to play for the Alumni XV is Brian Wool­ley, a for­mer first five-eighth for Tonga, who played in the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Still liv­ing in Porirua, he is player-coach for John­sonville’s sec­ond team, and can’t wait to take the field against the best the col­lege has got.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic. I love com­ing back and see­ing the col­lege, and this day is all for a good cause. I’m not sure about last­ing 80 min­utes, but I’m look­ing for­ward to shar­ing some of my knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences with a few of the boys.’’

Graham Up­ton, from the col­lege’s first XV, who play Prem- ier 2, says the fes­ti­val-type game will ben­e­fit his team.

‘‘We’ll have our tar­gets, we’ll be up for it,’’ he says, with a grin.

Aotea’s sports co-or­di­na­tor Paul Latham, who will play blind­side, is keep­ing mum on other lu­mi­nar­ies who will join him and Wool­ley in the Alumni XV. He says while there might be a tar­get on his back, the first XV boys may get used to see­ing it dis­ap­pear as he races to­wards the try­line.

Talk of his wa­ter­ing the play­ing sur­face in or­der to slow up the younger play­ers is un­sub­stan­ti­ated.

‘‘Maybe I should nick­name our team ‘Stacked’. We will have a weight ad­van­tage for the scrums, that’s for sure, but we want to give a good ac­count of our­selves.

‘‘Se­ri­ously, this whole day is about cel­e­brat­ing sport at Aotea.

‘‘There’s a rich his­tory here and we want to ac­knowl­edge that.’’

He says it is great the school’s old boys and girls have ‘‘come to the party’’, sup­port­ing an event he would love to see be­come an an­nual oc­ca­sion.

Con­tact Paul Latham at sport@ aotea.school.nz or 027 27 87 087.

Fac­ing the fu­ture: Ex-rugby in­ter­na­tional Brian Wool­ley, left, and first XV player Graham Up­ton rep­re­sent the ‘‘old’’ and the ‘‘new’’ faces of Aotea Col­lege rugby, who will come up against each other next week.

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