Pupils on parade
Chant perfected for Shield prematch paradeHANNAH FLEMING
Puketapu School's room 7 pupils have practised their chant to perfection for Saturday's Ranfurly Shield prematch parade down Devon St.
It's an old classic - simple yet effective - and includes the phrases "Naki, Naki, Naki" and "oi, oi, oi".
The school was one of the first to register for tomorrow's parade, and yesterday work had begun on their float "Ferdie's Menu".
Teacher Judy Armstrong said all the children had been busy painting and colouring in food signs that advertised various cuisines including magpie pie.
"It's just stunning. You can see that the kids are pretty pumped about it, and getting them to work together is pretty cool," she said.
Jahmaul Graham, 8, will get to parade the jersey of former Taranaki captain Andy Slater, who led his team to Shield glory in 1996.
Jahmaul had so much faith in Taranaki he said they would win by 100.
Classmate, Jayden Ruakere, 9, backed Taranaki to win by a more conservative margin - 32-21.
Taranaki back Frazier Climo pitched in with a paintbrush at the school yesterday.
"I remember going along to the parades when we had the Shield last and watching all the trucks go past. I was actually wondering what happened to them. It's great excitement for the kids," he said.
Seventeen floats had registered by yesterday and schools and businesses from around the mountain are represented.
Taranaki Rugby Supporters Club member Stewart Erb also hopes to add a band and kapa haka group to the mix.
He was involved with the parades during Taranaki's 1996 Ranfurly Shield reig.
"It should be a great festive atmosphere to start the weekend off - as long as the weather behaves itself."
The Ranfurly Shield parade starts at 11am tomorrow in New Plymouth from the corner of Hobson and Devon streets.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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