|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
AIS group students from Iwami Chisuikan High School were the focal point of the official launch of Education New Zealand’s Game On English Programme, which was attended by Prime Minister John Key and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Villa Maria Winery on Monday 7July.
The Game On English Programme is an initiative undertaken by ENZ as a result of the Japanese government’s desire to find partners to help improve Japanese English language skills and sporting capability in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. Game On English combines intensive English Language courses alongside sports training in areas that NZ has proven expertise.
The initial focus is on English + Rugby, with other combinations such as English + golf, English + athletics and English + sailing planned in the near future.
AIS were chosen to host the first group through the new programme.
The Iwami Chisuikan High School women’s sevens rugby team from Shimane Prefecture in Japan were crowned national champions earlier this year. From 29 June to 25 July they are studying English at the AIS English Language Centre, and training and working on rugby skills at the Auckland Rugby Academy at Eden Park. The girls are being hosted by AIS homestay families.
At the programme launch Prime Ministers Abe and Key watched as the girls did a lively skills training session with Auckland Rugby Academy Head Coach Paul Feeney. After meeting the Prime Ministers, the girls also had a photo opportunity with All Black Conrad Smith and Huriana Manuel, the captain of the New Zealand women’s sevens team and Black Ferns Player.
So far the girls have enjoyed their stay in New Zealand enormously.
“New Zealand is very different from Japan, but the people here made it really easy for me to adapt and feel comfortable. I enjoy being able to communicate freely with people from different backgrounds in class, and the support we get from teachers at AIS is invaluable, “ says Aoi Kurokawa. “ Kiwis train differently- they emphasize technique and making training fun. “
The girls are also taking time out away from their studies to see a little more of the beauty and experience that New Zealand has to offer, with weekend trips to Rotorua and Hobbiton planned later in the month.