While the Blues spent three days in Whangarei last week preparing for their victorious pre-season match against the Waratahs, the players took the opportunity to get out and about in the Northland community.
A busy training schedule made way for visits to local schools and hundreds of school children enjoyed an interactive skills and drills session at Toll Stadium.
Fourteen schools were invited to the annual ‘Bluebeard Day’ at Toll Stadium which saw students taking part in rugby skills, drills and games with the full Blues squad.
Earlier in the day, several players headed to Te Kura O Otangarei School to help serve up breakfast and prepare healthy packed lunches in support of the Kids Kai Time programme.
The team is in its second year supporting Kids Kai Time and helped to launch the programme in Whangarei last Friday.
Te Kura O Otangarei principal Myles Ferris, said it was great to see the kids excited over meeting the players.
“It’s great for our kids to let them know that there are people who care,” said Ferris.
The players served up Weetbix and fruit for breakfast for all the students before handing out a healthy packed lunch to set them up for the day.
The Blues also attended the launch of There’s A Better Way in Whangarei, joining with a visiting American 3-a-side basketball team Uptown 914, at Te Kura Kaupapa o te Rawhitiroa school.
There’s A Better Way is an initiative focused on giving youth positive pathways through sport.
Players met students and teachers before joining in on 3×3 basketball action against the visiting Americans. With many of the players avid basketball fans it was an opportunity to test their skills against some of the best.
Players also spent some quality time with staff and children at the Whangarei Health Camp and on return to Auckland spent Sunday morning at the Eden Park Open Day, meeting fans, signing autographs and handing out goodies.