Apii Te Uki Ou students stand in goal with Wynton Rufer. 22111814/Tim Meyer
Oceania footballer of the century, Wynton Rufer wrapped up a week in Rarotonga on Wednesday coaching children how to kick a ball.
Over four days the former All White trained more than
230 students in local schools, Takitumu, Rutaki, Immanuela Akatemia, and Te Uki Ou.
Rufer said his time in Rarotonga had been
“unbelievable” and he had found “two little guns” during the coaching process.
you come to islands you always find some little magician. I’m doing programmes
every week, all over New Zealand, thousands and thousands of kids, and yet I’ve
been here one week and I’ve already found two amazing little talents,” Rufer
“It’s not a
surprise for me, you’ve got this amazing talent all over the islands and that
so positive, it’s just been amazing.”
Rufer plans to work with New Zealand football academies
and schools to develop football career pathways for young Cook Islanders.
His dream is shared with a fan of his, Tim Meyer, who
grew up watching Rufer play for his home club in Germany.
not have dreamt for a better outcome,” Meyer said.
last day, it felt so perfect, everything just came together, the kids loved it,
even the weather loved it.
a nice flow, there was an amazing energy and it felt like a real start up
moment, it just felt like everybody was buying into the programme and everyone
just shared the love for the game.”
in the afternoon when the children had their grassroots games, they had already
tell even after that short period, that one week of training, touch had
improved and they were just playing calmer and were just so much better as a
team, simply because they had better ball control.”
thanked Cook Islands Football Association for sponsoring the flight, MOTU Art
Villas for accommodation, Polynesian Rentals, Creators Hype, Kai Mani Transfers and Anau Pukeiti for
catering local fruit to the football sessions.