Rugby refs launch fundraiser for Otumoetai College rowing

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IN FORM: Welsh referee Nigel Owens entertains at the Otumoetai College rowing fundraiser. PHOTO/Annemarie Clinton
IN FORM: Welsh referee Nigel Owens entertains at the Otumoetai College rowing fundraiser. PHOTO/Annemarie Clinton

Rugby and Rowing came together at Tauranga Sports Club to assist Otumoetai College fundraise for their 2017 Maadi Cup campaign.

A crowd of more than 200 crammed into the clubrooms to be entertained by referees Craig Joubert and Nigel Owens, the last two men to control Rugby World Cup finals in 2011 and 2015.

Both men have controlled more than 300 first class games and together more than 140 test matches, with many rugby pundits acknowledging Joubert and Owens as the best rugby match officials in the world game at present.

South African Joubert was interviewed by Bryce Lawrence and spoke about how the game had changed over the last decade, how technology and the media were impacting on the role of match officials and how Rio 2016 was a pinnacle of his long distinguished career.

He showed the audience through video footage just how dramatically the game has changed and shared numerous personal insights and stories
Welshman Owens was here last week to referee the All Blacks v Australia test and recounted numerous incidents from his record-breaking 75 test career.

Owens also touched on the serious topics of inclusion, understanding differences in others and the positive way sport can bring together communities. His humour captivated the audience with many present commenting he is one of the best speakers they have heard.

Otumoetai College rowing was extremely grateful for the corporate support they received from local business people and a successful auction was held under the guidance of Pete Blackwell (MC) and Frank Vosper with more than $15,000 made from the night.

Otumoetai Rowing, a large group of novice rowers, has commenced full training for the next six months leading up to the Maadi Cup in March 2017 at Karapiro.

Otumoetai Rowing is looking at making the fundraising night an annual event as the response from the large crowd in attendance was overwhelmingly positive.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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