The two Cook Islands Rugby League representatives were on hand to launch the Pacific Sports Partnership, a joint New Zealand Rugby Union and Cook Islands Rugby Union lifestyle project.
NZRU regional coach and education manager Wayne Marsters led the session with the Year 7 students alongside NZRU women’s rugby development manager Anna Darling.
The objectives of the healthy lifestyle project are to help encourage an increase in participation in sports outside of school, engagement of parents and communities in children’s sports, and increase the awareness amongst both parents and children about the importance of both physical activity and nutrition in helping improve healthy lifestyles.
Quick Rip 7s is a fast, non-contact flag version of sevens rugby which has been developed and implemented across New Zealand.
Prop forward Toka Natua debuted for the Black Ferns in 2015 against Canada, and also scored three tries in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup final against England.
Natua, who plays for Waikato in the Farrah Palmer Cup, is known for her strength and scrummaging, but also retains the speed and agility that saw her play in the loose forwards throughout her career, including a stint at number 8.
Natua’s fellow front-row forward Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate debuted in 2014 against Australia and has gone on to represent the Black Ferns on 20 occasions.
Ngata-Aerengamate made a huge contribution for Counties Maunkau in 2016 on their way to winning the Farrah Palmer cup, scoring five tries throughout the season, including one in the final.
As well as being a member of the Black Ferns, Ngata-Aerengamate is a teacher at Tangaroa College, teaching both te reo Maori and physical education.
Both were members of the winning 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Black Ferns team, as well as being in the Cook Islands Rugby League team that defeated England for the first time at the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup.
The group will be visiting schools while in Rarotonga and will also be holding parent and club information evenings at the following venues: Tuesday, May 8, 5pm at Avatiu Meeting House; Wednesday, May 9, 5pm at Tupapa Rugby Field and Ministry of Culture outdoor dome; and Thursday, May 10, 5pm at Arorangi Clubhouse.
All sessions are open to all who wish to attend. Pease contact Ben Koteka at CIRU for more information.