College – Issue 39

TAMAI PROJECT Doing it for the kids

Towards the end of their second season, it is thrilling to see the Tamai Project rugby team in action, facing strong opposition with grit and determination, looking out for each other, chasing the ball, wearing their team colours with pride and, most of all, having fun.

Because that is what the Tamai Project is all about – giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to learn new skills and to encourage participation in sport. It is a passionate project of Old Boy and coach Max Goodwin who, along with MiC rugby Stephen Dodds, came up with the idea, drummed up support, and got it underway. They reached out to primary schools in the Tamai Community of Learning in east Christchurch to find children who would not otherwise be able to play sport, organising transport to training sessions held at College, making sure the group got a good feed in the Dining Hall before heading home, and inviting families to come along and support their children at games.

Max and his fellow coaches, Old Boy Ben Leggat and Year 13 student Dominic Edmond, have an easy rapport with the players, and the team listens carefully as they dole out advice and praise. “They’re a great bunch of kids, with so much energy and enthusiasm,” says Max. “They respond well to challenges we set, and show good tackling, good chasing and good sportsmanship in every game. It’s been great to see their confidence grow. “We see these kids week in and week out, train with them, eat with them, chat with them. It’s been really cool getting to know them. The most rewarding part is understanding their situations a bit more and having a wee bit of a window into their lives.”

Max says he is in it for the long haul. “It’s such an exciting project, so rewarding for both College and the kids involved. I want to make sure it keeps heading in the right direction because it’s exactly the sort of thing that should be happening and, with the right support, it’s quite doable.” The Tamai Project is set to expand, with plans to introduce more rugby teams next year and then include other sporting codes, such as netball, basketball, hockey, futsal and touch. But to do so, it needs help. If you would like to support the Tamai Project, please contact Senior Development Manager Shelley Keach at

Christ’s College Canterbury


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