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Spark Sport and Damian McKenzie team up for rugby surprise

16 October 2019

Spark Sport and Damian McKenzie team up to deliver rugby surprise to rural Waerenga Primary School

No amount of rain was going to stop the students at Waerenga Primary making the most of an All Black visiting their school.

As part of the Spark Sport for Schools campaign, Spark Sport RWC panellist and NZ rugby player, Damian McKenzie showed up at Waerenga Primary School in rural Waikato yesterday ready to test the students’ rugby skills and gift them a van load of new rugby gear to stock their sports gear shed.

Around 70 students at Waerenga Primary participated in the morning where they were lucky enough to have a question-answer session, a rugby drills workshop and a special assembly where 5 lucky students were presented with signed All Blacks jerseys and the school with new rugby balls, tackle bags, goal post pads and sports bibs.

Spark Sport RWC panellist and All Black, Damian McKenzie says he was stoked to have provided a morning of fun and deliver the Waikato school with new sports gear.

“Community initiatives are really important to me. It’s always great to get into schools and engage with the kids and their families around rugby and other sports, as well as having fun and staying active.“

Principal of Waerenga School, Haydn Wright, said getting a visit from Damian had the kids excited and to be gifted sports gear was just an added bonus.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our little school – once we told the kids that Damian was coming they couldn’t believe it. I was even getting calls from parents asking if it was true.

“To be singled out of schools in NZ for this was awesome, we’re a little isolated so to have this type of thing happen to us was great and to have a new bunch of rugby gear for the sports shed means we can now run better activities with the kids which might inspire them to become future All Blacks or Black Ferns”.

Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch says school outreach programmes is one of many community driven initiatives the company will look to deliver as it matures as a sports streaming service.

“We originally launched Spark Sport for Schools to get the many aspiring All Blacks and Black Ferns in the classrooms throughout New Zealand excited for the Rugby World Cup. We encouraged teachers, parents and communities to turn their schools into viewing hubs and have had a great response across New Zealand. Over 220 schools signed up to show RWC games at their schools with communities rallying behind the schools to pull off viewing nights – it’s great to see the hype in NZ towns.

“As we continue our service we will look to deliver more community outreach as we commit to not only being a broadcaster but also being a partner with a solid footing where our future sports stars learn and live to help grow the sport codes we acquire rights to.”

Spark Sport will be back at Waerenga Primary school hosting a community viewing night this coming Saturday for Australia vs England and New Zealand vs Ireland quarter finals.

For more high quality pictures download here.


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