Jackson, Year 8, plays Rugby Union for the North Lakes Leopards in the Under 13s team. Each year the Under 13s do a tour to NZ. This year they went during the school holidays in early April. They spent the year beforehand fundraising for the trip so that all boys in the team only had to pay a minimal cost and could all attend regardless of their financial background. They flew out very early on the Thursday morning, meeting at the airport at 3am. The men and boys stayed at Marae just outside of Christchurch. This was a great cultural experience, with us all participating in a traditional welcome ceremony onto the sacred grounds.
On Friday they played a tough game against Ohoka who defeated the Leopards 36-19 with Jackson’s two conversions (goals). Jackson plays fly half (or first five as it is known in NZ) and is the team kicker. Saturday was a fun day with a trip to the Hanmer Springs hot pools and water slides, followed by some jet boating. Sunday was the big day attending Burnside to battle for the “Across the Ditch Cup”. The boys were victorious, coming away with a 43 – 27 win, with Jackson kicking four conversions. On the Monday the boys went Go Cart racing and to the Antarctic Centre. Tuesday morning the team stayed on to tour around the South Island for the rest of the school holidays. They saw lots of beautiful countryside, with the highlights being attending the Glow worm caves in Te Anau, sailing Milford Sound and taking a helicopter flight over the Franz Josef Glacier with a snow landing on the glacier. It was a fantastic trip!