A group of local children are proudly wearing All Blacks jerseys kindly donated by NZ Rugby.
The children have been taking part in Sense Rugby this year which is a rugby based occupational therapy (OT) programme designed to help kids who usually find it difficult to be part of a sports team.
"Sense Rugby is a unique programme as experienced paediatric OTs facilitate the sessions, which have been designed through a lens of both OT and rugby together, to utilise a child's strengths and their motivation to help them to participate and achieve success in a new social and sports-based experience," Sense Rugby NZ occupational therapist Erin Rayner said.
"Overall Sense Rugby's mission is to help children to love movement and sport, due to the importance and power of sport to create lasting physical and mental change, and its role in creating a sense of belonging and community.
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"Our last set of school holiday programmes and our ongoing sessions in term four have been supported and funded by NZ Rugby.
"As a part of their 2020 Participation Framework NZ Rugby wants as many people as possible to be involved in rugby, and to experience a lifelong love of the game.
"In order to achieve this and balance the participation side of rugby, with the performance side, and to truly ensure they are meeting the needs of all participants in Aotearoa, NZR wants to provide more opportunities to play rugby in diverse ways, which is where the partnership with Sense Rugby NZ was established.
"On the Kāpiti Coast we have had 20 children participating so far across our school holiday and weekly groups, and we look forward to extending this opportunity to more families in 2021.
"The Sense Rugby team would also like to thank Jane Chamberlain and Jaime Bradbury, the junior conveners from Waikanae Rugby Football Club, for their ongoing support, recognition of the importance of having Sense Rugby available as an option at their club, and for stepping up to be our first community partnership club in Aotearoa."
Sense Rugby was founded in October 2015 by Australian paediatric occupational therapist Carlien Parahi and Australian Rugby Sevens Olympian Jesse Parahi.
In 2019, Rayner with the assistance of Carlien and Jesse Parahi brought Sense Rugby across the Tasman to New Zealand.