A top performing rugby prospect from Auckland secondary schools, who is just as handy in class as they are on the field, will be the beneficiary of a new three-year university scholarship.
The Auckland Rugby Union Supporters Club Junior Rugby Foundation (ARUSCJRF) has announced, in conjunction with Royal Wolf, New Zealand’s leading provider of container solutions, the creation of the new award to be known as the Royal Wolf Rugby Tertiary Scholarship, valued at $10,000 annually.
It will be awarded annually to a top secondary school rugby prospect selected from colleges within the Auckland Rugby Union’s boundaries. Since 2000, ARUSCJRF has been awarding annual bursaries covering school and associated fees to 15 players selected from among Auckland colleges.
ARUSCJRF chairman Barry Hodge says this innovative new scholarship by Royal Wolf will enable the Foundation to greatly increase the assistance it provides to its top bursary student each year as they move into tertiary level education.
The Royal Wolf Rugby Tertiary Scholar will assist the student for three years as they work towards completing their degree with grants of $10,000 for each of those years. Thus, in three years’ time and thereafter, Royal Wolf will be investing a total of $30,000 to cover the three scholars who will be in the system by then. While the award winner each year will most likely be selected from among our bursary students, we will not rule out the possibility of an award to another outstanding student.
Our foundation, with the assistance of Royal Wolf, sees this as another step forward in our objective of assisting the academic performance of potential young star players who are prepared to commit themselves to Auckland rugby long term. Already over the years, with the dedicated help of high performance officials of the Auckland Rugby Union (ARU), we have made bursary grants to schoolboy players who have gone on to attain Auckland, Blues and All Black honours. Some of those young men have by their own efforts gone on to university degrees. This new Royal Wolf Rugby Tertiary Scholarship will help more of them to attain degrees, and will motivate them to commit to Auckland and the Blues,” said Mr Hodge.
Applicants will be assessed under the following criteria.
• Being a consistent high performer on the rugby field (1st XV and representative teams)
• Attends all bursary programme sessions
• Makes consistent progress with his education at school
• Shows leadership qualities
• Focuses on obtaining higher educational qualification in chosen field
• Is leaving college at the end of the current year
• Is prepared to make a commitment to ARU
• Conducts themselves in a way that reflects the “BLUE” (belief, leadership, unity and excellence) values of the ARU and the expectations of the ARUSCJRF and Royal Wolf.
Royal Wolf is the industry specialist in the hire, sale and modification of new and refurbished shipping containers and has developed a reputation as the market leader with expertise in the modification of shipping containers for a variety of different applications.
New Zealand executive general manager, Paul Creighton said the company is extremely proud to be supporting junior rugby and helping young up and coming talent to realise both their academic and rugby playing dreams. “Royal Wolf is a strong believer in supporting the community and this scholarship as a chance to become involved and a great opportunity to be able give something back each year to a young and talented rugby player.
“You may not be able to play a game of rugby inside a Royal Wolf container, but we love our rugby and we look forward to watching the progress of the first scholarship winner – and the future winners to come,” said Mr Creighton.
Auckland Rugby Union CEO Andy Dalton said the scholarship is a great initiative. “We are very grateful to the Supporters Club Junior Rugby Foundation and Royal Wolf for introducing this scholarship.
“It follows on from the great work they have done with bursary scheme and continues to affirm our commitment to supporting players with their education.
“It is so important that these young players place as much emphasis on securing their life after rugby as they do with on-field endeavors, which is why this new tertiary scholarship is such a welcome step,” said Mr Dalton.