After more than 15 years, Rongotai College can replace their rugby training equipment. Thanks to NZCT’s significant grant they can now guarantee player safety and welfare with modern equipment that was used by the British and Irish Lions during their recent tour. This equipment will be stored at Rongotai College and be available to the school and the Oriental Rongotai Rugby Club.
Oriental Rongotai Rugby Club has a history dating back half a century with Rongotai College. The club and school have worked together, sharing facilities and personnel resources to provide opportunities on the rugby field and in the community for their players.
Dave Meaclem is Head Coach of Rongotai College. “Currently we have a stock of training equipment that is at least 15 years old and is in need of replacement. Rugby has changed significantly within this timeframe with a large emphasis on player safety and welfare. We virtually no longer use our scrum machine for this reason, which disadvantages our players. Our players are unable to practise the latest scrummaging and contact techniques because of the equipment’s lack of robustness.”
According to Dave Meaclem, player safety is now a major focus from NZ Rugby. “Through their Rugby Smart programme, coaches and players are encouraged to take a responsible approach to all contact aspects of the game. Upper body and especially the neck and head area are a key focus point in our coaching. It will allow our coaches to coach the details, using the specialised equipment that the British and Irish Lions have used on their tour to New Zealand.
“As a school which has very limited equipment and monetary budget, an opportunity like this does not come along very often. The NZCT grant is important as it will allow Rongotai College and the Oriental Rongotai Rugby Club to be able to prepare their players with good technical coaching. It assists both parties to build upon their 50 year partnership providing excellent facilities and opportunities for members,” said Dave Meaclem.