Children's artwork to greet Lions fans

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Fans heading to the historic Chiefs vs British & Irish Lions rugby match next week will get a first-hand look at the creative endeavours of dozens of the region’s school children.

In the fifth match of the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017, the Chiefs play the touring British & Irish Lions at FMG Stadium Waikato on Tuesday, 20 June.

Walking routes to the stadium from Hamilton’s Central Business District and Claudelands will feature artwork created by children from 16 schools across Hamilton, Waikato, Thames Valley, Waipa and Waikato.

Chad Hooker, Hamilton City Council’s Major Events Director, says engaging the schools to create artwork to line the walking routes is a reflection of the region’s pride in being part of the highly anticipated tour, and also adds a local flavour.

“This is an initiative we have run in the past when we’ve hosted major events at FMG Stadium Waikato,” Mr Hooker says. “The children’s artwork gives the walking routes a splash of colour and also marks the way for visitors to the city who’ve arrived for the match.”

“For the DHL Lions Series 2017, we asked for pieces which reflect either the schools’ town and community, or the nations which make up the Lions – England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland,” Mr Hooker says.

“They’ve come up with some great pieces, seizing on some of the iconic features of their towns and the Lions nations.”

Aberdeen School Teacher Michelle Parkes says her Room 26 students – mainly aged nine and 10 - were enthusiastic about creating artwork for the walking route, and spent their lunchtimes over the course of a fortnight combining their talents.

Appropriately, the Aberdeen School children chose to illustrate Scotland and relished the challenge.

“We are proud of our collaborative effort and how 15 children can create one picture,” she says. “It was hard but fun trying to represent a country and sport through visual images only. They loved the art aspect of it and the way they took parts of the research of Scottish icons and put them all together on one combined piece of art.” 

The walking route from Claudelands takes pedestrians down Heaphy Tce, Boundary Rd and Mill St, while the walking route from the central city starts at Hood St and includes Victoria St, Bryce St and Tristram St. Both are marked with stickers on the footpath, and take about 20 minutes to get pedestrians to FMG Stadium Waikato.

Fans attending next Tuesday’s match are being urged to arrive early and avoid bringing a bag if possible, to ensure easy entry into the venue. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

The complete list of schools which have created artwork for the walking routes is:

  • England - St Peter Chanel Catholic  School
  • Ireland - Marian Catholic School
  • Scotland - Aberdeen School
  • Wales​ - Frankton School
  • Hamilton​ - Te Kura Amorangi o Whakawatea
  • Otorohonga​ - Otorohanga South School
  • Ngaruawahia​ - Ngaruawahia School
  • Cambridge​ - Hautapu School
  • Te Awamutu​ - Te Wharekura o Nga Purapura o Te Aroha
  • Te Kuiti​ - Te Kuiti Primary School
  • Huntly​ - Ohinewai School
  • Raglan​ - Te Mata School
  • Te Aroha - St Joseph's Catholic School
  • Pirongia​ - Pirongia School
  • Tokoroa - Bishop Edward Gaines Catholic School
  • Morrinsville - David Street School

NZ Rugby has announced a limited number of additional tickets for the Chiefs vs British & Irish Lions are now on sale. Fans are encouraged to get in quick and make sure our home colours are strong and Hamilton is out-roaring the Lions. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.nzlionsseries17.com

Page reviewed: 17 Jun 2016 1:27pm