Whitchurch High School's Rugby Academy recently concluded a successful rugby exchange program with Wairarapa College in New Zealand. The exchange featured two outstanding students, Le’Sharn Paku and Mitchell Shields, who spent a memorable season contributing significantly to the Whitchurch High School rugby team.
These talented Kiwi athletes, hosted by two of our own students, made a remarkable impact on our rugby season. Le’Sharn and Mitchell not only showcased their impressive skills on the field but also brought a cultural exchange that enriched the entire academy experience.
The exchange program, initiated by our coach Zeb Aporo, a New Zealander himself and an alumnus of a similar exchange program during his student years, reflects the enduring connection between rugby communities in Wales and New Zealand. Zeb, now a coach at Whitchurch High School, played a pivotal role in setting up this rewarding initiative.
Reflecting on the success of the exchange, Zeb stated, "It's fantastic to see the positive impact that these cultural and sporting exchanges can have. Rugby has a unique way of fostering connections, and this program is a testament to the global camaraderie within the rugby community."
The exchange program received full support from our director of rugby, Steve Williams, and our head teacher, Nick John. Their commitment to fostering international relationships and providing enriching experiences for our students has played a crucial role in the success of this initiative.
Director of Rugby, Steve Williams, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "These exchanges go beyond the field. They create lifelong memories, build lasting friendships, and contribute to the holistic development of our students. We are proud to be a part of such initiatives."
Head Teacher Nick John added, "Our students have not only gained valuable insights into different rugby styles but have also embraced diverse cultures, promoting a sense of global understanding and unity."
As Le’Sharn and Mitchell return to Wairarapa College, the Whitchurch High School Rugby Academy celebrates not only a successful season but also the enduring bonds forged through the exchange program. This initiative continues to be a beacon of collaboration, sportsmanship, and cultural exchange within the rugby community.