This weekend is the final match of Rugby World Cup 2011 – New Zealand vs France. It has been quite exciting living in New Zealand these last six weeks and apart from some logistical problems opening night, this year’s Rugby World Cup has been a great success. The whole country has participated – flags adorn shops, cars and homes everywhere. On hillsides and parks around Auckland, primary and intermediate school students have created large ‘welcome words’ in the native languages of all the visiting teams. Many towns have ‘adopted a team’ and decorated their main streets accordingly. The town of Wellsford, north of Auckland has adopted the Canadian team and the red and white maple leaf flags are everywhere! Thousands of people have volunteered to act as ground transportation facilitators, airport hosts, VIP drivers, media support, etc. Bars, restaurants and “The Cloud” (a new facility built in time for the World Cup) on Auckland’s waterfront have been buzzing day and night. A ‘Fan Trail’ starting in the CBD and ending at Eden Park (the stadium) has provided rugby fans with an invigorating 4 1/2 kilometre-walk through lively Auckland suburbs.
The games have attracted hundreds of overseas visitors, including royalty – Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco and Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter have attended matches. Julia Gillard (Australia’s prime minister), Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Sir Richard Branson and many celebrities from around the globe will be arriving in the next few days to attend the final Rugby World Cup match on Sunday.
Events like these cost the host countries millions but the boost they give to the citizens and the country as a whole – priceless! Productivity is up and most people , whether fans or not have caught rugby fever.
Who will win? The last time New Zealand went head to head with France in a Rugby World Cup final was 1987 and New Zealand won. This year’s final will be an exciting one and there are still tickets available, so hopefully we’ll see you there!
Until next time,
Your Boomer Life Partners
Disclosure: Events and attractions mentioned in this Boomer Life Today blog post were not solicited or paid for by companies in New Zealand or abroad.