League star has a ball at old school

Sunday Star-Times - - FOCUS - ALAN APTED

May­field Pri­mary’s most cel­e­brated old boy, Roger Tuiv­asa-Sheck, went back to school on Tues­day.

The visit from the lad who left the Otara school in 2004 and re­turned 13 years later as a cel­e­brated Kiwi and cap­tain of the Voda­fone War­riors may have been brief.

But the wel­come from awestruck stu­dents and a hand­ful of beam­ing teach­ers who taught him was warm and friendly

The as­sem­bly sang the school’s Pasi­fika Wel­come Song and were struck to see Tuiv­asa-Sheck singing along with them. In ex­change, the rugby league leg­end re­galed stu­dents with mem­o­ries of his time there.

He told of the feel­ing of nos­tal­gia as he drove down Pearl Baker Drive, see­ing all the houses, the streets he used to walk; the shop where he’d stop on the way to and from school, of plant­ing a tree in the school­yard and how he and his mates would sneak to a hid­den cor­ner of the play­ground for tackle rugby, in breach of school rules.

He even men­tioned how lucky they were to be wear­ing uni­forms. ‘‘When I was go­ing to school here we didn’t have uni­forms. We just turned up in what we had – mufti. But it’s now awe­some to see that the school has a nice logo, the place is look­ing nice and the kids have uni­forms.’’

Prin­ci­pal Dubs Rai re­mem­bers Tuiv­asa-Sheck well. He was deputy prin­ci­pal back then and has since kept a keen eye on his former pupil’s progress, as do eight other staff mem­bers who were at May­field Pri­mary at the time.

‘‘One of the great­est re­wards for teach­ers is to have stu­dents visit them and to hear of the suc­cess­ful path­ways they have taken,’’ Rai says.

‘‘Today we cel­e­brated the suc­cess of teach­ing and learn­ing but more im­por­tantly, the value of strong hu­man re­la­tion­ships.

‘‘With Roger’s amaz­ing suc­cess in rugby league, we all feel the glow of suc­cess be­cause of our school con­nec­tions.’’

Tuiv­asa-Sheck was at May­field to shoot a pro­mo­tional video for the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

Roger Tuiv­asa-Sheck snaps a selfie dur­ing his visit.

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