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Huge RWC 2011 Welcome Planned for the Irish in Queenstown

23 August 2011

Huge RWC 2011 Welcome Planned for the Irish in Queenstown

The Irish rugby team will be officially welcomed to New Zealand at Queenstown Airport on September 1. Queenstown is the team’s official port of entry to New Zealand for RWC2011 and plans are in place to ensure the team will enjoy a memorable reception.

The reception that will take place between 3.15pm and 3.30pm with dignitaries in attendance that will include Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden and Irish Consul General Rodney Walshe. The public are welcome to attend and approximately 200 school children from Hawea Flat, Glenorchy, Garston, Makarora and Tarras Schools are being bussed to Queenstown Airport helping to ensure the Irish are greeted by an enthusiastic contingent of young rugby supporters.

The event coordinated by the Queenstown Airport Corporation will include formalities presented by local Iwi; a Putatara, Waiata and a Kapa Haka performance.

Lakes Leisure will be hosting a More FM Pool Party at Alpine Aqualand for the visiting children prior to the official welcome to ensure they get maximum enjoyment from their day in Queenstown, with QLDC providing a picnic lunch at the Queenstown Events Centre. Mayor van Uden said the Council on behalf of the community is delighted with the opportunity to welcome the players.

“Queenstown Lakes is looking incredible, the grounds are looking top notch and I know the hospitality will be in abundance. It’s an exciting time,” Mayor van Uden said.

Queenstown Lake District Council and Lakes Leisure have been working with RWCNZ and team management to ensure people in the community, particularly children, get the opportunity to be involved with the four teams staying in Queenstown that in addition to Ireland include England, Romania and Georgia.

Lakes Leisure Communications Manager Rachelle Greene said the teams are primarily here to train for what is clearly an extremely demanding event, which has unfortunately left them minimal time for community engagement.

“The Irish airport welcome was identified as a great way to get the children from the outer areas that might otherwise miss out involved. The teams training schedules leaves them relatively little time to spend with our community, so bringing the kids in from the outer schools for a pool party followed by an official airport welcome seemed like a great solution.“

As part of RWC2011 formalities the Irish team will also enjoy a private civic welcome on September 4 where the players will receive their caps.

Georgia will receive both an official airport and civic welcome on September 5 and 6 respectively. England and Romania will both be welcomed at other official ports of entry in New Zealand.


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