VIDEO: Warriors Work Week
Monday 17 December 2012 12:19 AM
'Warriors Work Week' is an initiative new Vodafone Warriors coach Matthew Elliott hatched with the Glenn Family Foundation. Working in three groups, the players will descended on a number of locations mainly around the Otara area and principally at schools this week. Watch the boys in action and see Konrad Hurrell sing with the students at East Tamaki School.
During ‘Warriors Work Week’, 36 of the Vodafone Warriors' 37-strong NRL squad worked on 13 projects set to benefit between 2000-2500 pupils per week in Manukau City.
The players worked at a number of locations – principally schools – to build garden boxes, dig holes, plant trees, hang shade cloth, build a cycle track and shift almost 100 tonnes of soil and aggregate.
The players’ schedule from Monday to Thursday began with training sessions at 6.30 each morning, followed by working on their projects from 9.00-3.00 and more training at 4.00 each afternoon.
“We’re did this for two main reasons,” said Elliott.
“Firstly, it was a great opportunity for the players to go into the community to do work on projects which will make a difference to people’s lives and at the same time enable the players to learn how much they mean to their supporters.
“And, secondly, we did this so the players gain an understanding of what it’s like for most athletes, those striving to make it to the Olympics who have to get up early every morning to train, go to work to earn a living and then train again later in the day.
“We want the players to appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given.”
Working in conjunction with a number of organisations including the Garden to Table programme, the Glenn Family Foundation put together a schedule starting with work at Flatbush Primary School, East Tamaki School and Sir Edmund Hillary College.
The area has special meaning for three of the club’s biggest names Dean Bell, Ruben Wiki and Manu Vatuvei as well as owner Owen Glenn. All hail from Otara, the first three all attending Sir Edmund Hillary College. Bell, the club’s foundation captain, is now in the role of general manager football operations; club legend Wiki is back with the Vodafone Warriors as strength and conditioning coach; and Vatuvei is about to enter his 10th NRL season after this year becoming the first player to score 100 first-grade tries for the club.
The four-day Warriors Work Week culminated in the groups coming together at the Otara Scorpions Rugby League Club at Ngati Otara Park for a recycling sculpture project when they worked with local architects to come up with vertical garden solutions using 100 plastic bottles per team.
A special feature of the week was the opening of the first of three cycle tracks to be created in Otara.
Bike On, the charitable trust behind Bike in Schools, and the Glenn Family Foundation are working together on the tracks which will provide fun, safe and accessible trails for families to ride and walk on.
The Vodafone Warriors made a special appearance at the opening of the track at East Tamaki Primary School on Tuesday morning. They joined a host of representatives from other sporting codes including Aussie rules, football, basketball, rugby union and touch as part of Counties Manukau Sport’s annual Have-a-Go day.
The second track for Otara, being built in collaboration with the Otara Papatoetoe Local Board (Preston Road Reserve), will serve Rongomai School as well as the surrounding community.
The Vodafone Warriors wwere involved in the final preparations of the East Tamaki track and began building the second track at Preston Rd Reserve as part of their week’s work.
Twenty-five bikes and helmets have been donated to East Tamaki School by both East Tamaki Rotary and Variety – The Children’s Charity. Variety is providing a further 25 bikes and helmets to Rongomai School, thanks to the support of Avanti and The Warehouse. This will allow students to use the tracks as part of their physical education curriculum, while also learning cycle and road safety tips from qualified trainers.
Owen Glenn believes the cycle track is a true example of what communities can achieve together.
“The collaborative nature of the project and the opportunity the bike track provides is a wonderful example of the community coming together to create something that will benefit many for years to come,” he said.
The week provided an unforgettable initiation for the Vodafone Warriors’ newest signing Harry Siejka, who had his first training session with his new club on Monday morning before embarking on the community project work.
• The Vodafone Warriors were be split into these groups for the four days (Manu Vatuvei was exempted as he entered his final week of preparation for the Fight For Life):
Group 1: Trent Bishop, Glen Fisiiahi, Charlie Gubb, Siliva Havili, Sebastine
Ikahihifo, Thomas Leuluai, Sam Lousi, Sione Lousi, Simon Mannering, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Dane Nielsen, Elijah Taylor
Group 2: Nathan Friend, Pita Godinet, Konrad Hurrell, Shaun Johnson,
Ngani Laumape, Jacob Lillyman, Todd Lowrie, Suaia Matangi, John Palavi,
Nathaniel Peteru, Sam Rapira, Harry Siejka
Group 3: David Fusitua, Ben Henry, Kevin Locke, Feleti Mateo, Atelea
Nafetalai, Russell Packer, Dominique Peyroux, Steve Rapira, Jerome Ropati,
Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Carlos Tuimavave, Bill Tupou
• The Vodafone Warriors worked on projects at:
Monday: Flatbush Primary School, East Tamaki Primary School, Sir Edmund Hillary College
Tuesday: Piripono Kaupapa, Rongomai School, Ngati Otara Marae Kohanga
Wednesday: Dawson Road Primary School, Back to Learning School, Preston Road Reserve, Wymondley School
Thursday: Crosspower, Mayfield Primary School (TBC), Otara Scorpions Rugby League Club