The Yarrows Taranaki Bulls took a break from rugby to help school pupils with a planting project recently.
Each year the Year 6 pupils from Central School complete a term four graduation project that gives back to their school. This year they had help from the 2023 Bunnings NPC champions to plant fruit trees.
The initiative was supported by Bunnings, the primary partner and naming rights sponsor of the Bunnings National Provincial Championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC), Bunnings Heartland Championships and Super Rugby Under 20s Championship.
After planting the trees the Bulls’ players taught the children some rugby skills and challenged the pupils to a sprint race.
Taranaki Bulls player Teihorangi Walden says he grew up in New Plymouth and would watch the Bulls play.
“Those games were part of the inspiration for me to play professionally and represent the Taranaki community. We’re very thankful to Bunnings for their support and for connecting us with Central School. Hopefully, the tamariki went home that day as inspired as I was at their age.”
Central School principal Paul Johnson says the day was special for the tamariki.
“I know that they appreciated getting the expert support and insight from the Bunnings team on how to plant trees and ensure they are cared for as they continue to grow.
“The Taranaki Bulls were brilliant teachers as well. The students loved this opportunity and took such a passionate approach to the skills and drills, with many trying to run faster than the player or throw a ball further than them.”
Bunnings New Plymouth store manager Jodie Rayner says the team was happy to help Central School with their graduation project.
“We hope future students enjoy helping to care for the trees and will get to enjoy plenty of harvests of homegrown fruit.”