Former Wallabies and local legend treat students to coaching session at Wellington Christian school

Developing: The schoolkids alongside the former Wallaby greats. Photo: Contributed.
Developing: The schoolkids alongside the former Wallaby greats. Photo: Contributed.

Students at Wellington Christian school have been treated to a lesson in Rugby fundamentals and skills thanks to a visiting band of former Wallabies greats.

The K-6 cohort were visited by retired players Radike Samo, Beau Robinson and James Holbeck and two Rugby development officers thanks to Central West CEO Matt Tink. 

The band of former players entertained the children and educated them about the rules and regulations of Rugby Union, according to head of school Sarah Strahorn.

“The students were pretty excited and loved the afternoon and time the players took to teach and encourage them,” Mrs Strahorn said. 

The selection of players that visited are part of an alumni program called the Classic Wallabies, that endeavours to keep players in touch with one another and supported as they make the transition to life after Rugby while giving them an opportunity to promote and support local Rugby development. 

“It is a wonderful achievement and honour to represent one’s country and each of us in some way is proud of these guys and others like them. However, to then use that platform to give back to the community is truly admirable,” Mrs Strahorn said. 

Legends: Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jon White, James Holbeck. Photo: Contributed.

Legends: Beau Robinson, Radike Samo, Jon White, James Holbeck. Photo: Contributed.

“We had former Wallabies at our school on Thursday but what we also had, was genuinely interested, nice guys.”

In addition to the other visiting members of the Wallabies, Wellington Christian School also invited their own legacy member and ‘rugby royalty’, Jon White to the proceedings. 

Mr White was a highly regarded loosehead prop for the Wallabies from 1958 to 1965, who toured South Africa twice and was a member of the team when they became the first team to beat the Springboks on South African soil since 1896. 

White is also the grandfather of students Xyla and Henry White, who have now given their fellow students a new view of their storied grandfather and his well earned reputation as a player.

“Before today, Mr White’s claim to fame in our students’ eyes was being Xyla and Henry’s grandfather! They were amazed when they realised his football career!” Mrs Strahorn said. 

Along with a bevy of newly learned skills and a newfound appreciation for the game, students also got to take home a collection of autographs and photos graciously provided by their guests. 

“We know it is the day-in and day-out effort and consistency that is defining as a student, but we are also conscious that it is special one-off moments such as this visit, that often creates the ‘remember when’ moments that are talked about for years to come,” Mrs Strahorn said. 

“We are very grateful for this moment to show our students that dreams are possible.”