Sonny Bill surprise for students | News | Kawerau

Sonny Bill surprise for students

12 June 2015

GIRLS banged on their school hall’s windows when rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams visited Tarawera High School on Wednesday.

The Chiefs and All Blacks midfielder made a surprise visit to the school as the New Zealand Rugby teenage rugby ambassador and as part of Maori rugby development programme E Tu Rangatahi.

Williams interacted with the students in rugby and non-rugby activities.

He spoke to them about goal-setting and having the right mindset to achieve their goals.

Student Levi Whata said it was great to have Williams and Maori All Black Joe Royal at the school.

“Being here in Kawerau it builds the morale. Sonny Bill is a normal person and the kids can aspire to be just like him. There have been girls banging on the windows and yelling out to him, and boys yelling out to him as well. The buzz at the school has been pretty cool.

“They are getting a sense that they can achieve. Sonny is real relaxed and very approachable. That helps.

If he had come down here with a top dog status, we wouldn’t have responded as well. He has come in with that family-man kind of manner.”

Williams said he enjoyed visiting smaller towns.

“The motivation comes from my childhood, being in a similar situation. It is awesome to be here and just to help out wherever I can,” he said.

“But it is not just about rugby; it is whatever trade or goal they want to pursue. I remembered that we had a couple of Blues players come to our school and that was pretty cool. Hopefully these kids remember us the same way.”

He said the Tarawera pupils were “very honest”.

“They are typical kids – some of them tease me. This group of kids, compared to a flash school in Auckland or somewhere, they’re exactly the same.”

He said he acknowledged it was “tougher to make it” in certain areas.

“But it doesn’t cost anything to have a positive mind-set, and that is the message we are trying to put out there. Of course it helps to have rugby to do that.”

Source: Whakatane Beacon