Twenty-eight soccer players from Christ's College in Christchurch, New Zealand recently visited Belmont Hill and also engaged in a friendly scrimmage on a glorious Sunday morning, September 17, 2023. The visit was the culmination of several years of communication between both schools. Mr. Hegarty and Mr. Leonardis, along with 10 students, had the privilege of visiting Christ's College in New Zealand during their trip Down Under to New Zealand and Australia in 2019. "Their school was a wonderful host to us," Mr. Hegarty recalled, "so it has been nice to reciprocate their hospitality during their time in the Boston area."
Following the game, the visiting student-athletes performed a haka, a celebrated tradition indigenous to the Maori people of New Zealand, used to welcome guests. The haka is a ceremonial ritual involving movement and is derived from the Maori words ha (translating as breath) and ka (to ignite or energize). A haka utilizes various facial actions, often showing the whites of the eyes (pukano) and poking out the tongue. See the video below.
The boys from New Zealand were hosted in the homes of Belmont Hill soccer players, giving them a good chance to get to know each other. Mr. Cortest, Christ's College head soccer coach and coordinator of their trip to the United States, noted that during "a team review session the boys loved their stay with the Belmont Hill players and their families, saying how nice everyone was and how welcoming they were."
Christ's College, Canterbury is an independent Anglican secondary day and boarding school for boys. Founded in 1850, the college is the oldest independent school in the country.
Enjoy Mr. Corest's blog at https://christscollegefootballtour2023.com/