Te Aute wins a rugby prize

Hastings Leader - - News -

New Zealand high per­for­mance ref­eree, re­garded as one of the world’s ris­ing of­fi­cials, Ben O’Ke­effe, vis­ited Te Aute Col­lege re­cently to pro­vide one lucky rugby team a once in a life­time train­ing ses­sion.

The team of 19 boys was an­nounced as the re­cip­i­ent of the Spec­savers Ul­ti­mate In­vestec Su­per Rugby Ref­eree Train­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence, a na­tion­wide com­pe­ti­tion in which the team re­ceived a $1000 cash prize, free eye ex­am­i­na­tions for each mem­ber and glasses for those who re­quire them.

The E-grade team was se­lected out of more than 20 en­tries for hav­ing the most com­pelling nom­i­na­tion. As the win­ners, the team is en­ti­tled to a per­son­alised train­ing ses­sion with In­vestec Su­per Rugby Ref­eree and eye sur­geon, Ben O’Ke­effe who pro­vided train­ing tips and tricks and an­swered ques­tions the boys had about the game and his ca­reer as a ref­eree.

The team of board­ers and day boys strive to live up to the Te Aute legacy for­mer stu­dents have shaped. Some of those Old Boys who have at­tended the all-boys Ma¯ ori board­ing col­lege and gone on to reach peak rugby per­for­mance in­clude for­mer All Blacks Piri Weepu, Norm He­witt and cur­rent player, Kane Hames.

Heath In­gle is the fa­ther of one of the play­ers who en­tered the team into the com­pe­ti­tion.

“Be­ing a small board­ing school with such a rich his­tory on the out­skirts of Hast­ings, the team strug­gle to com­pete with the larger well­re­sourced schools in the re­gion and so wel­comes any help.”

Ben says he is proud to be able to visit Te Aute and have the op­por­tu­nity to pass on some knowl­edge to the play­ers, coaches and ref­er­ees.

“It’s great to be able to meet the next gen­er­a­tion of Te Aute rugby and pro­vide sup­port.”

Te Aute Col­lege stu­dents at Nga¯ ti Kahun­gunu’s an­nual Matariki Wha¯ nau Fes­ti­val at Te Aute Col­lege ear­lier this year.

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