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Hyde Kids Get Summer in New Zealand

Wednesday Jul 29, 2009 in Grassroots Rugby High School

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Salim Lancaster and Alex Pettiford from Washington DC's Hyde Leadership School are currently spending their summer at Avondale College in New Zealand and playing rugby.

Said Lancaster in a blog post, “I was given an opportunity that I thought I would never get. I was given an opportunity to make a dream come true.”

Lancaster said he and Pettiford were nervous going to New Zealand because they wanted to set a good example. For Lancaster this was his second trip to an elite rugby experience, having attended Cal’s rugby camp in 2008. For Pettiford, the trip to New Zealand from DC was his first time on an airplane.

“When got on the plane, it was like heaven,” said Lancaster. “They had comfortable recliner chairs, plenty of foot space, free food, and they even had TV. I enjoyed Air New Zealand because I finally got some rest. When we arrived in New Zealand the people were very cordial and friendly. We even had our own security guard escort us to the baggage claim and through the metal detectors.”

The players are staying with host families, and attended the New Zealand v. Australia test match on Saturday.

“Our first rugby practice was intense. It was a full-on game of 10-on-10,” posted Lancaster. “On Thursdays we have run-throughs with the 1st 15 going against the 2nd 15. Alex and I managed to work diligently on the field and were able to run with the 2nd 15 against some of the starters.”

that’s fine with Pettiford.

“I always bring intensity to whatever I do, whether carrying water or running the ball,” he said.

The players have just started on their journey, and their coach at Hyde, Tal Bayer, says he is confident they will do well.

"Both young gentlemen consistently display excellence in both attitude and effort," Bayer said.


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