NZ students looking forward to good weather, exciting theme parks and great touch!
Peter Bell recently put a number of questions to Hollie Graham and her students at Hamilton Girls’ High School, New Zealand who are returning to this year’s Gold Coast Titans All Schools.
How long have you been attending All Schools?
This will be our 3rd year coming to All Schools. We attended in 2014 and 2017, and were booked to come in 2020, however, Covid stopped our plans. So 2022 will be our third time attending.
What aspect of All Schools makes it worthwhile for an International school such as yourselves to attend?
The size and professionalism of the tournament. It allows our players to be exposed to the highest level of touch in the world. With Australia being the best in the World our students can experience what happens in Australia.
How excited are the students and what do they look forward to most of all?
Our students are really looking forward to this event. Most have never left NZ and some have never even been on a plane, so for them to experience not only the Touch but leaving NZ is a big adventure for them. They are excited for the theme parks and the ‘nice’ weather! (fingers crossed.) But most of all excited to participate in such a great event.
What is your expectation as to the standard of touch at All Schools?
We are expecting a very high level of touch football. We have always followed the tournament over the years and enjoy seeing the different teams play. Even when we don’t attend, we’ll watch some of the live streamed games. There is always a high calibre of players and lots of them go on to represent Australia in Touch, League, and Sevens. Seeing that Talent that emerges from this tournament is just great.
As a teacher what do you see as the key benefits for this trip for your students?
Life experiences. Providing my students the opportunity to experience touch outside of NZ. As well as seeing what other countries are like. I love to help create lifelong memories and build life experiences.
Any players we should be aware of?
Now that would be letting our secrets out. Haha! In our team we have girls that are in the tops team for Rugby, Netball and Sevens. They are great athletes and enjoy playing Touch as well. Amarnee Shepherd, Veisinia Fakalelu, Kaiya Kepa and Eleina Ieremia are all emerging young talents in not only Touch but also in their other chosen sports of Netball, Rugby and Hockey.
“Thank you Hollie, whilst we’re reasonably confident of good weather, we have no doubt whatsoever that your players and officials will relish the thrills of our theme parks, and fondly remember being part of the world’s largest (and we think best) touch football carnival!
Peter Bell, Tournament Director