Te Aute wins a rugby prize
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.