Spotlight on our new Ambassador, Bruce Reihana

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img 05/06/2021

Throughout the year I'll be catching up with our Ambassadors to find out what they are up to and what being an Ambassador means.

Our Current Ambassadors
Graham Price MBE
Gareth Chilcott
Ian McLauchlan
James Haskell

And, our latest addition to the line-up is Bruce Reihana.

Profile Snapshot

  • Former International and Club Rugby Union Player
  • Played for New Zealand; Northampton Saints; Bordeaux-Begles
  • Maori All Blacks
  • NZ 7's Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist 1998 & 2002
  • Retired from rugby at the end of 2013/14 season
  • Skills and Performance Coach at Bristol Bears
  • Skills and Attack Coach at Clifton Rugby

So Bruce, tell me what your proudest achievement is in rugby and why?
As a young player, I always dreamt of being an All Black, and to make that goal come true was the ultimate
lifetime achievement for me.

And what are the biggest challenges facing rugby?(outside of the COVID 19 impact).
The biggest issues facing world rugby is the workload that rugby players have and what they put their bodies through. I hope that this can be managed better for our player welfare in the future.

What do you miss most about not playing?
I miss the excitement of the game-day experience, the feeling of playing not just for your Club/Team, but for everyone that supports you. I also miss the physical aspect of the game and these days I stay active in the gym or at the driving range. Any chance that I get to play for the vets, I'm there! I've been lucky to play 10's Veteran Rugby in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bermuda, Dubai and Belgium since I retired from playing.

So, since hanging up your boots, how have you been spending your time?
After coaching at Bordeaux, then at Bristol Bears, I made the decision to set up my own company 'Reihana Rugby'. This is based on my own ethos and values building on kids' skills and confidence whilst having fun! I really want to make a difference. I've coached over 200 kids since Lockdown #1 and it's been awesome seeing the progress the young players have made, but also keeping active especially at the moment.

Now, moving onto SOS Kit Aid, and the great work that they do – what made you want to get involved?
Having read of the work that SOS Kit Aid does in helping young players around the world, it was an honour to be asked to support this charity. I am the youngest of 11 and I know it must have been a struggle for my parents to always keep me in kit.

Why is SOS Kit Aid so important?
Giving kit to children who really need it will make such a positive impact on their lives. It ultimately gives children a chance to get fully involved in sport, which can change that child's life for the better. I was that child! Plus, building resilience, confidence and friendships along the way.

What can you bring to the Ambassador role?
As an Ambassador, I would like to share this message and raise awareness of SOS Kit Aid using my global network and social media platforms, but also sharing my own journey along the way, which led me to choose rugby as a career, instead of the wrong path.

And finally, after a very challenging and strange year, what are you most looking forward to as and when lockdown ends, and we are living in a more 'normal' world?
I am most looking forward to being able to travel again. My oldest son is playing rugby in France, having spent 3 years in New Zealand. The whole family are super excited to go and visit him and hopefully catch a game.

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