Rugby In­ter­na­tional re­turns home

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Koko re­turns to Porirua af­ter liv­ing in Europe dur­ing a 15-year pro­fes­sional rugby ca­reer. Hav­ing spent 3 years in Italy, one in Eng­land and 11 years in Dax, France, Ali thought it was time to come home. His rugby at Welling­ton started at school­boy level and pro­gressed to the U19s, U21s Colts and then the Welling­ton NPC squad from 1997 to 1999. Ali made his de­but for Samoa against Ja­pan in 1999, but his great­est rugby ex­pe­ri­ence was rep­re­sent­ing Welling­ton, and scor­ing two tries in a Ran­furly Shield chal­lenge play­ing op­po­site Bruce Rae­hana. “It’s been less than a week in the coun­try and it’s very ex­cit­ing com­ing home, see­ing how the colour and the rich­ness of Porirua re­mains vi­brant,” Ali says. “Ul­ti­mately re­turn­ing home and hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to work with chief ex­ec­u­tive Fiso John Fiso and the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Sport has been a real bless­ing. “I have a huge re­spect for what John does for many of our Porirua youth in terms of ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reers. “I was a stu­dent at Mana Col­lege when he was head of the PE depart­ment, and he re­ally looked out for us boys who sup­pos­edly had a gift in sport. He ba­si­cally be­lieved in find­ing the hook that un­tapped our talent not only on the sport. “You Just have to look at us Porirua boys like Rod­ney, Steve So’oialo, Elvis Se­veali’I, Lesa Laga and Robecca Toomaga and plenty more Porirua alumni NZIS stu­dents. “I have worked for some time with trou­bled youth in Dax, and the op­por­tu­nity to work in the Youth Guar­an­tee pro­gramme with my own com­mu­nity and abroad is what I am ex­cited about. “As an old boy of NZIS, I have val­ued the ed­u­ca­tion, in­ter­na­tional tours and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. Who would have thought the NZIS or­gan­i­sa­tion, born out of Porirua with 18 stu­dents, would now boast close to 900 learn­ers to­gether, with its sub­sidiary, the NZ Col­lege of Mas­sage, which now op­er­ate in Auck­land, Welling­ton and Christchurch. “I am hum­bled and proud to be a mem­ber of staff and en­cour­age youth and adults learn­ers who have an in­ter­est in sport, fit­ness and re­cre­ation to join our fam­ily, be­cause to­gether we will take you places as they did with me.”

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