Malo e lelei everyone and happy uike kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga (Tongan language week)! This week I thought I would write about my favourite current Tongan sportsperson. Not Steven Adams, though he’s pretty amazing. Not Manu Vatuvei, but much respect for Manu. My favourite Tongan sportsperson is Bill Fukofuka, a former Tangaroa College student now playing for the Southland Stags in the ITM Cup.
Recently a school asked me to speak with their sport loving students and encourage them to be as committed to their reading and studies as they are to their sports. I love that kind of topic! I rang Bill and asked him what things he has to do as a rugby player that are like some of the things he had to do at school. Here’s what he told me:
Reading: we have to read contracts, coaches game reports and game plans .
Writing: we write notes during meetings, we record the game plan and we write goals.
Listening: we have to listen carefully during team meetings and summarise the main points.
Questioning: we ask questions whenever we’re not sure about what to do.
Digital literacy: we study game situations and we review our opponents games on computers.
The next time the young people in your life try to tell you they aren’t doing homework because their focus is their sport, you can share this info with them! “Making sure you get the schoolwork side, the study side done, is a big positive,” says All Black captain Richie McCaw. “The people that are able to do both end up being better rugby players.”
Good luck and blessings to the Ikale Tahi Tongan rugby team at RWC 2015. Follow the team’s progress on their official Twitter page: https://twitter.com/officialTongaRU