League star has a ball at old school
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.