Rugby goes further than crossing the try line

Rugby isn’t just our national sport, it is also being used to develop life skills for students at Hastings Boys’ High School.

The school has a long and successful track record playing rugby, winning the top New Zealand secondary schools title in 2019, as well as producing first class rugby players, but it is now looking to take this winning formula to create leaders off the field.

In partnership with the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT) year 10-13 students are the first inductees of the HBHS Hauora Rugby Academy, a holistic development programme, being delivered at the Trust’s Sport Excellence Hub at Mitre 10 Park in Hastings.

Hastings Boys’ High School head of rugby Tafai Ioasa says the aim of the academy is to create well-rounded individuals who positively contribute to the community and are driven to succeed in their careers outside of rugby.

“We are using rugby as a vehicle to engage our Rangitahi to contribute positively to society and to equip them with the skills, discipline, knowledge and attitude to succeed in rugby as well as in life outside of sport,” said Tafai.

The programme has been co-designed by the school with Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust Manager Sport & Health Performance Joe Payton.

The school’s physical education department created seven ‘Akina man’ values that it aims for students to uphold, combining with individualised strength and conditioning programmes at the fitness centre.

The Akina Man values are:

Communication / Whaikorero = being comfortable to ask or answer questions

Courage / Maia = giving new things a go

Integrity / Ngakau Pono = Knowing what is right and wrong

Empathy / Ngakau Aroha = Big brothers looking after our little brothers

Respect / Whakaranatira = accepting people for who they are, even if they are different from you or you don’t agree with them

Initiative / Awhero = being organised with the correct gear for your school day

Diligence / Pukumahi = being proud of the effort you put into your day

“Our sports academies have been successful in achieving success on and off the field, but we wanted to add another layer on top of our current academies to compete with the opportunities that other schools are offering their students,” said Tafai.

HBCFCT provides strength and conditioning sessions that focus on developing equal parts of physical attributes such as strength, power and speed with performance characteristics of communication, team building, leadership and resilience.

“The sessions are designed to enhance training both at school and elsewhere via education and help grow awareness and reinforce to our students the importance of fitness and wellbeing,” said Joe.

Tafai says although the school has its own weights room and gym, the atmosphere and environment of excellence at the HBCFCT gives students added inspiration and motivation.

“We have a world-class facility with HBCFCT and combined with our talented rugby coaches and a wider expertise offered by the high performance team at HBCFCT we are creating a sustainable flow of future leaders both on and off the sports field.

“Our students will be better prepared for what life throws at them.”