Taniwhas Take the Challenge

20 August 2015

Taniwhas Take the Challenge

Five schools and community groups are set to benefit from a special teambuilding challenge set for the Northland Rugby Union (NRU) team by NorthTec.

The Taniwhas visited NorthTec’s Future Trades centre in Dyer St, Whangarei, last week for their annual taster day. NorthTec is the NRU’s educational partner, and each year the team comes to the polytechnic to find out about future career options.

For this year’s event, the players were set an Amazing Race-type challenge. After a health and safety briefing in the Safe Trades department, the Taniwhas formed five teams and had to follow instructions from the Horticulture students to build a raised garden bed, fill it with soil and plant flowers and vegetables.

The race involved each team collecting a wooden palette and carrying it to the garden area, sawing planks of wood to the correct lengths and screwing them into place to form a perfect square raised bed. Marks were awarded for speed, woodcraft skills and artistic planting, with the winning team being Team 1, Tyler Lansdowne, Matias Narvaez, Dan Hawkins, Isimeli Taqea (team captain), Jaycob Matiu, Warren Dunn and Shane Neville.

Each raised garden will be donated to local school and community groups, complete with planted seedlings and flowers.

The team were then given a tour of the Future Trades facility, and briefed about the study programmes on offer.

This was the third annual NorthTec Taster Day for the Taniwhas. Last year the players visited the beauty therapy and hospitality departments, while the previous year they tried their hand at welding.

The event is intended to help the players consider future employment options after their sporting careers are over, and is a light-hearted way of introducing them to other trades and industries.

Taina Savage, NorthTec Programme Leader for Construction, said it had been a fun event which had also challenged the players. Several had shown an interest in the trades showcased on the day, which included construction and painting, automotive studies, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Tim Dow, Personal Development Manager for the NRU, said: “The players were highly engaged in the task. A number of players would look further at the study options available to them through NorthTec. They were really impressed with the facilities at Dyer St. For the union it is a massive boost to have NorthTec as a partner as we are both looking to bring the best out of Northlanders.”

NorthTec is giving away 500 tickets to its students across the region, for this weekend’s home game against Southland.

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