Royal Wolf Announce New Rugby Tertiary Scholarship Recipient for 2017
New Royal Wolf Rugby Scholarship Recipient Named
Harry Plummer is only at the beginning of his rugby career yet he already appreciates the need to have a back-up plan if his playing days are cut short by injury.
“I’ve had a number of injury setbacks and it made me realise how easily your playing ability can be affected – you’ve got to have a plan outside of rugby,” says the 18-year-old first five-eighth who is in his final year at Auckland’s St Peters College.
Harry is the second recipient of the Royal Wolf Rugby Tertiary Scholarship and receives $10,000 every year for three years to assist with his tertiary studies.
He says the scholarship will help him put his “back-up plan in place” and he has applied to do a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Management next year at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
The scholarship, sponsored by shipping container specialists Royal Wolf in association with the Auckland Rugby Union Supporters Club and the Junior Rugby Foundation, is designed to give young rugby players academic and on-field opportunities as well as helping to ensure top school leavers stay in Auckland rather than moving to other provinces.
Harry says the scholarship has set him up for the future because he won’t be burdened with a student loan while he studies.
“It is a huge weight off my shoulders as I start university, and it does change your life because it means I can go through university under my own steam, and not have to rely on my parents or a student loan.
“So at the other end of it I’m not going to have a big debt. I’m really lucky and I’m looking forward to the challenge of balancing study with playing rugby.”
Harry started playing rugby when he was seven and is now one of Auckland’s top number 10s in the school boy grades.
“To be fair, I started playing rugby because it was just the norm and my mates were all playing it, but it’s become a huge passion,” he says.
Next year, as well as “getting a feel for rugby outside of school level”, he is focussed on playing for one of the Auckland Premier sides, and later in the year is aiming for the Auckland U19s side and potentially the New Zealand U20s side.
Seven players applied for the Royal Wolf scholarship in 2016 from a diverse group of colleges, including Tamaki College and Dilworth for the first time. The selection criteria is based on both academic merit and rugby potential.
Royal Wolf New Zealand Executive General Manager Paul Creighton says the quality of the seven finalists who were up for the scholarship was outstanding.
“They were all worthy recipients of the scholarship but Harry stood out for both his rugby skills and on an academic level. Royal Wolf wishes him all the best with his studies and for the upcoming 2017 season.”
Mr Creighton says Royal Wolf is already a big supporter of charity organisations and the local communities it operates in all around New Zealand, and the Auckland rugby scholarship programme is an extension of this.
“We’re always looking for ways to give something back to the community and helping to grow our finest rugby talent – both on the playing field and in the classroom – is a great opportunity and we look forward to following the progress of all of the scholarship winners.”
The first scholarship recipient, Adrian Choat, has had a busy 12 months completing the first year of his engineering degree at the University of Auckland and playing for the Waitemata Premier side and the Auckland Under 19s.
Diary Entry #1
There are some huge – you might even say momentous – events coming up for me over the next few weeks. I will complete my first semester of my university course having had four major assignments and an exam in close succession. I’m pretty sure I’ve done really well. Fingers crossed at least, because I know I was over-prepared for all due to them being my first key assignments so I wanted to nail them.
I also play my first game in nearly 7 months after Easter, having been back into the full swing of training and contact for a while now. So I’ll be looking to test myself out against fellow Royal Wolf Rugby Scholarship recipient Adrian Choat and his Waitemata club. After so long away from the playing field, I’m nervous. But the excitement of being able to play rugby again will be enough to override the nerves until game time – and then I’ll be into it.
It’s coming up three months since I moved away from home and I think routines have finally begun to sink in – and I’m becoming expert at juggling rugby, study and everything else.
My accommodation and social life is going really well, having made friends with a lot of new guys who are a mix of Rugby Academy and uni’ mates.
Although I’m enjoying living in the city, I religiously head home to Karaka at the end of each week for a lazy weekend and to see my family who I start to miss quite a bit during the longer weeks. It’s also good to get a home cooked (free) meal and get some washing done too!
The Academy is full on, but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve made huge improvements in strength, size and running, which I’m hoping will see me have a good club season and follow onto a great representative season.
I haven’t missed any lectures, training sessions, or deadlines for assessments, so I’m feeling proud of myself and the challenge will be to keep that up and make it an even stronger second semester.
I also managed to catch up with Paul Creighton and his team at Royal Wolf HQ a month back. It was awesome to learn a little more about what goes on behind the scenes at the largest shipping container supplier in Australasia. It’s a big, and growing business, and I was thrilled to meet so many of the staff.
I will be staying in touch with the Royal Wolf team, and look forward to the potential for work experience in my final year of study or work post-uni.
So all in all, I’m really busy, happy with where I’m at with both rugby and uni’, and hopefully that continues!