Every year, BDSC host Mt Richmond Special School for a game of rugby. This is a perfect opportunity for Mt Richmond who does not play in competitive competitions but instead plays friendlies against schools around Auckland and the greater North Island.
Mt Richmond Special School caters to people aged 5-25 and has a high learner support need. Their rugby team is a huge part of the school’s identity.
The game started with some hard hits and bustling tackles from both teams, with Mt Richmond holding most of the possession. Their hard work paid off with Mt Richmond scoring the first try of the game. Some fearless tackling and fluid running saw both Botany and Mt Richmond score numerous tries throughout the game.
Once teams had a chance to re-hydrate and have a breather, players from both teams decided to swap jerseys with their opposite number and play for a different school. A wonderful sight as young BDSC players helped direct play with Mt Richmond players side-by-side. The crowd was fantastic, supporting both teams equally and even getting selfies with one young Mt Richmond try-scoring-machine.
This game is not about the end score but empathy, respect, diversity and sportsmanship, things these students will take with them into their season, school and life. It gives the boys a chance to learn, grow and understand that rugby is so much more than just a game.