Tana Umaga encourages children to set goals

Last updated 05:00 15/04/2014
Tana Umaga
SCHOOL SCRUM: Tana Umaga is mobbed by Whangaparaoa Primary School year 6 students.

Relevant offers

Provincial

Sean Botherway names first Waikato squad ahead of 2015 NPC Manawatu Turbos coach Jason O'Halloran signs deal with Scottish Rugby Union Broadcast revenue windfall set to boost players and provincial unions' earnings Gore's Mitchell brothers look to unite in Southland Stags front-row next season Crusaders target Otere Black, Marty McKenzie in search for first fives Hawke's Bay happy to have Zac Guildford home, back playing for Magpies Postive steps for Stags and Highlanders relationship, says coach Brad Mooar Tom Marshall to stay a Tasman Mako after All Black chance revealed Joe Maddock named as Canterbury assistant coach, replacing Jason Holland Chase Tiatia leaves Wellington for two-year deal with Bay of Plenty

Former All Black captain Tana Umaga originally wanted to play soccer but changed his mind when the awards started rolling in after a switch to rugby league in high school.

"I never received a player of the day, most improved, or any sporting award all the way through primary and secondary school until I was 16 years old," he says.

"Then I changed over to league and won something."

Next came rugby - and the rest is history.

Umaga has just signed up to stay on as coach of the Auckland-based Counties Manukau side until 2016.

He's also getting around the city's schools when time allows and inspiring a new generation of players.

Among them are children at Whangaparaoa Primary, just north of Auckland.

"Anything is possible if you work hard enough. My sisters told me I used to draw 'I want to be an All Black' on the walls when I was a kid," he told pupils there this month.

"That was before I knew what goals were. Now I know what they are and work towards them. You can do that too."

Umaga says the most painful injury during his rugby career was an achilles tear just before his retirement in 2007.

"The injury wasn't too sore, but the operations and recovery were very hard."

Ad Feedback

- Rodney Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of this year's ITM Cup?

It was as good a season as I can remember.

It was great to see the smaller provinces perform well.

I caught the odd game here and there.

Sorry, it was an utter snore-fest.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content