An interactive way to reflect as we approach Anzac Day is to visit Balls, Bullets and Boots-From Rugby Field to Battlefield, a multimedia exhibition at Rotorua Museum.

The exhibition explores at the legacy of the World War I through the eyes of 15 New Zealand rugby players and one woman coach. The players and woman featured are from every background - those who served, stayed behind, came back and did not return.

The exhibition is based on research undertaken by rugby historian Clive Akers for an e-book of the same name.

Rotorua Museum communications and events lead Joanna Doherty said the exhibition itself was developed by the New Zealand Rugby Museum. It includes videos, touch screen tables and hands-on interactive elements, as well as objects and photographs, she said.


The exhibition began in Rotorua last month and features ex-All Black captain Anton Oliver as a digital guide.

"The timing of the exhibition, during the centenary commemorations for WWI means it has very relevant content for all New Zealanders - all of whom have family who went to war."

Ms Doherty said one of the 15 players profiled was Roger Dansey, a local All Black, giving it specific relevance to Rotorua.

"The exhibition enables visitors to explore this local connection, but also the national significance of New Zealand's contribution to the war, and more specifically how players of our national game contributed."

Rotorua Museum had also developed education programmes for this exhibition, which compared the values of players today with those who fought in the Great War, and the strengths those players displayed - both physical and mental, she said.

Ms Doherty said the players not only fought for their country, but during the war also played rugby for New Zealand. "It gives a great national overview, but also looks at some very personal stories, enabling visitors to strongly connect with what it must have been like."

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* What: Balls, Bullets and Boots - From Rugby Field to Battlefield

* Where: Rotorua Museum

* When: Until May 29, 9am to 5pm

* Cost: Included in admission price