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October, 2013

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Title:Schoolchildren to Welcome Kiwi’s With The Haka
ID & Publication:20131011021 ~ 
Subject:Sport (Local) 
 DMBC (4kb)

AROUND 50 school children will give the visiting Kiwi rugby league world champions the perfect welcome to Doncaster when they perform the legendary war cry routine - The Haka – in front of them.

The youngsters from Norton Junior School have been practicing the vigorous Maori routine – which the New Zealanders perform before international matches - for weeks.

The Kiwis, along with the Cook Islands national team, are coming to Doncaster to train and prepare for the forthcoming World Cup. As well as meeting the schoolchildren, the team will also face each other in a practice match at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said the visit, which will also see the New Zealanders perform the Haka to the school children too, was a perfect opportunity to get schools involved in the welcome at the Earl in Doncaster – and give them a chance to meet their heroes.

She said: “It is a major coup for Doncaster to be welcoming the World Champions New Zealand - and the Cook Islands to the town.
“The town has a proud history in rugby league and I am delighted that school children will get to benefit from the visit – and even perform the Haka.
“I am sure the chance to perform the legendary tradition in front of the New Zealanders and see the team also perform it will be an experience they will hold warmly in their memories forever. “

Carl Hall, Chief Executive and owner of the Doncaster RLFC (The Dons), is from New Zealand and was instrumental in getting both the teams to the town.
“When we were unfortunately unsuccessful in our bid to get a World Cup match in Doncaster, I was still keen to offer the teams a chance to train and warm up here in Doncaster where we have excellent facilities.
“I am delighted both New Zealand and Cook Islands are coming to the town and that we are getting many schools involved too.
“It will hopefully give the children the incentive to take up the sport themselves.”

Norton Junior School was chosen through a link with teacher Richard Henfield who is involved in rugby himself and has taught several youngsters to do the Haka for a Dons’ game in the past.

The rugby players are set to visit around 14 schools as part of a tour during next week.
Bawtry Mayflower School will also welcome the Cook Islands team to Doncaster on the Monday (14th) with around 130 children set to wave them in with flags. The New Zealanders arrive on Wednesday ahead of the Haka welcome.

The Rugby League World Cup runs from October 20. Fourteen teams will contest the tournament, including England, Scotland and Wales. The last winners of the tournament were New Zealand, defeating Australia in the 2008 final.

Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Maori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. The New Zealand rugby team’s practice of performing the Haka before their matches has made the dance more widely known around the world.

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Author: 'DMBC'   Area: 'Doncaster'
Title: 'Schoolchildren to Welcome Kiwi’s With The Haka'   Category 'Sport (Local)'
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