Hanging out with my hero

By Cathy Asplin

Meeting his sporting hero was a real buzz for eight-year-old Sam Denize.

The Pekerau Primary School pupil was the lucky winner of a trip to Auckland to meet All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

His mother Bronwyn (on behalf of Sam) entered, along with around 1000 other people, into the Versatile Homes and Buildings competition via Facebook.

To win the amazing opportunity she was required to write why Sam would be a deserving winner.

"Sam is a keen rugby player for Pirongia and Richie McCaw is one of his heroes," she said.

"So I explained that Sam has a number of food allergies he has to live with and I thought it would be nice for him to have something special to enjoy."

She was thrilled to hear they had won.

"I was amazed really, out of so many people who had entered. Sam was pretty excited about the trip, but got a bit nervous as it got closer."

Sam, his parents Bronwyn and Ross and his five-year-old sister Emma made the trip to the film set to watch the Versatile Homes brand ambassador make his latest advertisement.

They were also able to have lunch with the All Black - with a specially prepared lunch provided for Sam to cater for his allergies.

Sam also received signed Adidas rugby boots, while the whole family received signed caps, Adidas shirts, a Richie McCaw book and rugby balls.

McCaw then signed Sam's Chiefs jersey and Emma's Pirongia Rugby Club jersey.

"Sam also appeared on the TV3 sports news when Richie was interviewed about Zac Guildford.

"But the real highlight for him was to be able to throw a rugby ball around with Richie, that was pretty special."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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