Rangitane Thompson “Ekea te puhitaioreore.” During the last school holidays, Rangitane was invited to attend Touch New Zealand’s National Youth Academy alongside 70 of the country’s most promising boys and girls.

The academy was held in Rotorua over four days. While there, Rangitane received coaching on all aspects of the game from some of New Zealand’s top touch coaches. He gained a lot from the experience and will continue his development in the game. Rangitane would like to give a big thank you to Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke for their support which helped make it possible for him to attend the academy.

Rangitane was also selected for the Canterbury under-17 mixed team, which recently participated at the Youth Touch Nationals held in Papamoa, in the Bay of Plenty. Rangitane captained the team and played the games with speed, skill, commitment, leadership, and maturity;

and although the team didn’t make the finals, they all gave their best and can be proud. Rangitane would like to thank all those who supported his fund-raising efforts including Ngāi Tahu, Pete Lyman and Deane McKenzie from Ngāi Tahu Property for their personal contributions. Also a massive kia ora to Whaia Tere and all the whānau at Te Hohepa Kōhanga Reo. We would especially like to thank Uncle Joe Briggs, who took awesome care of us during the tournament. We send our love and hope your journey back to full health is a speedy one. After departing Uncle Joe’s home, we travelled to Manaia on the Coromandel and stayed with Mike, Bonie and Toko Baker, visiting the whenua of Ngāti Whanaunga.

Our stay was absolutely beautiful. It was also great to catch up with cousin Mariata and John in Tokoroa and see the great work they are doing in their community. Finally we want to say how proud we are of Rangitāne and may he continue to do well in life.

Love Mum and Dad.

Rangitane Thompson.

Rangitane Thompson.