Another Successful HakaTwo years after a unique and exciting development programme was introduced to schools across Warrington, the clash between England and New Zealand at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday saw another public airing of the results of Warrington's Haka Schools' Programme. Whilst the sight of the Kiwis performing their stunning Haka routine before kick-off sent a shiver down the spines of all those who watched it, there was also displays of local pride from schoolchildren across the area performing their own unique Hakas. "Warrington has been identified as a great community development area for the sport of rugby league," explained Neil Kelly, Warrington Borough Council's Rugby League Development Officer. "The last international at Wilderspool between Warrington Wolves and the New Zealand Residents in October 2003 was used to showcase a very stimulating and divergent development programme - that of the Haka Schools' Programme."The project was developed in conjunction with Bridgwater Arts College and six different primary schools in the area, who were all given a unique task. "They had to create their own school's Haka to perform along with the Warrington Haka which was developed by students from Bridgewater Arts College," remembers Kelly. "Kevin Tamati and Tawera Nikau were on hand to perform the Haka and advise the students of all the participating schools on creating their own." That work provided the basis of this year's Haka Project.Instead of spending half term stuck inside playing computer games or watching television a host of Warrington youngsters got the chance to create their own Hakas and performed them at the Halliwell Jones Stadiumpre-match. "This years programme brought fun to the half-term activities for the children of Warrington," says Kelly. "We staged a Haka workshop at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and in conjunction with the council's Dance Development Officer more than 100 children took part."The day consisted of learning about the culture and traditions of the New Zealand people and most importantly of all, learning about the Haka. "Warrington Wolves' New Zealand based players were on hand to help out and the children got stuck into painting their faces like a New Zealand Maori warrior. "Then they started creating their own Haka while getting to meet the real Kiwis to see what it is all about up close and personal."
07, Nov, 2005