Communities across New Zealand are preparing to welcome visitors to RWC 2011 by ‘adopting’ a participating country
Communities across New Zealand are preparing to welcome visitors to RWC 2011 by ‘adopting’ a participating country…
Street decorations, festivals and language lessons are all part of the exciting plans. See what some regions have been up to already:
Marlborough: To Russia with Love
Free language classes, a vineyard concert and a special aviation display are all part of Marlborough’s welcome for the Russian Rugby team. The picturesque region at the top of the South Island has adopted Russia as its second team, and communities across Marlborough are planning to pull out all the stops, including a special display at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim. Jane Orphan, Chief Executive of the Centre says, “We are painting several aircraft in Russian colour schemes. One of these is the Hurricane replica we painted to represent one of the Hurricanes flown from Murmansk in 1941 as part of an RAF mission to assist Russia.”
Wairarapa: Operation Georgia
The scenic Wairarapa region in the lower North Island is planning some good old-fashioned Kiwi hospitality for visitors including their adopted team of Georgia. Shops on Masterton’s main street are adopting teams and decorating their stores. There will be local food shows, touch Rugby competitions, and a sport shearing demonstration. The town is also launching ‘Operation Georgia’ to get the local community enthusiastic about their adopted country. “The response so far has been fantastic, and people can’t wait for Tournament time to come around!” says Catherine Rossiter-Stead of Wairarapa RWC 2011.
TePuke: Namibia, Kiwifruit and Rugby
TePuke, the ‘Kiwifruit capital of the World’, will be adopting Namibia during the Tournament and they’ll be celebrating kiwifruit, Rugby and their adopted team with street flags and decorations. The Namibian team will be welcomed into the town with a mass haka performed by children from the local schools, while locals are getting into the spirit with T-shirts emblazoned with the Namibian and TePuke logos.
Northland: Painting it Red
Northland is hosting Japan, Tonga and Canada during the Tournament and their shared flag colour inspired the region’s ‘Paint it Red’ campaign. Businesses, schools, shops and workplaces will all be painting it red, as well as public spaces including red flowers planned for the city’s floral hotspots and banners. Special events themed around the three teams will also be held across the region. Stewart McElwain, Northland 2011 Regional Coordinator says, “Paint it Red” is gathering momentum and the people of Northland are going to be painting our region red in every which way we can.”
New Plymouth: Mascot Races
New Plymouth has found a fun way to get local schools excited about hosting teams during RWC 2011. Mascot races have been held throughout the city with a student, teacher or friend of each school dressing up as a mascot for one of the hosted teams and competing against other schools in a confidence course. The five teams being hosted in New Plymouth are Ireland, Namibia, Russia, USA, Wales and they’ve inspired costumes ranging from a dragon to Spiderman. Congratulations to all the winners!
Ashburton: Romanians in mid-Canterbury
The Romanian team will have a home away from home in Ashburton during the Tournament. The mid-Canterbury town has a surprisingly large number of Romanian residents so they will be hosting a Romanian-themed party during the team’s stay and decking the town out in flag bunting.
Napier: Four teams, four quarters
The art deco city of Napier will be splitting itself in four during the Tournament as the city’s four quarters each support one of the teams they’ll be hosting. Retailers will be decorating their storefronts to support Japan, South Africa, France and New Zealand. There will also be activities to celebrate each of the teams like the Japanese art of origami paper folding.
To find out more about what the towns and regions are planning or to get some ideas for adopting your own team visit: www.nz2011.govt.nz/get-involved.