Pupils meet Kieran Read

QUESTION TIME: Kieran Read answers a question from one of Hoon Hay School year 6 pupil's Caleb Amer.

Passing a rugby ball won Hoon Hay School pupils the chance to meet All Blacks captain Kieran Read.

The ‘pass the ball’ competition was an initiative set up by New Zealand Rugby during the British and Irish Lions Series in June.

It was part of a wider education unit rolled out to year 1-8 pupils in more than 2400 schools across New Zealand about the Lions Series.

ALL SMILES: All Blacks captain Kieran Read with some of Hoon Hay School’s rugby players.

Hoon Hay took on the challenge over the five weeks and every pupil in the school participated.

Each day classes would go out and throw a rugby ball up and down the line, recording the class daily distance.

Each class’ figures were combined and added to a whole school graph.

After 25 days they had covered 468km.

Sports co-ordinator Michelle Meaclem said it was really good to see the persistence from the pupils.

“I entered in the competition but didn’t really expect us to win it, just more as a daily fitness promotion during the Lions tour. Once I saw classes embracing the challenge, and children determined to clock up the kilometres, our distance chart started growing. I figured we did have a really good chance,” said Mrs Meaclem.

Hoon Hay was one of the winning schools who won the top prize, a visit from Read.

The pupils were tasked with writing a list of questions to pose to Read during the assembly.

Most were rugby related, however, some were more personal including, ‘what would you do if it was your last day on earth?’

Read replied he would spend time with family and gorge himself on burgers from Burger Fuel, something the professional athlete doesn’t often get a chance to do.

While at the school, Read signed some All Black’s merchandise which will be a prize in a raffle in the upcoming school fair on November 24.