Success at last!
25th October 2011 by Andrew Matheson, | 2 Comments
So, we made it. In the face of a spirited and proficient performance by a charged-up French side, New Zealand’s national rugby team the All Blacks secured a victory in the Rugby World Cup in the weekend.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw raised the coveted Webb Ellis trophy to the roars of appreciation from the ‘Stadium of four million’ that New Zealand has become for the entire Rugby World Cup tournament.
New Zealanders are passionate about rugby. The Rugby World Cup, though, was about much more than the game. New Zealanders from one end of the country to the other were proud hosts of this four-yearly event, adopting teams, accommodating visitors, and having one long series of parties.
Why is a nation of just over four million people so devoted to rugby that it is the world champion in this game? A Spanish photographer Nacho Hernandez, himself a keen rugby player, explores this in an extraordinary photo gallery and blog. He focuses on the importance of fostering rugby at the grass roots, resulting in “a combination of nation-wide passion for the sport, tradition, and a very proud sense of having a legacy that has to be protected“.
Nacho’s photos are well worth a look, as they capture New Zealanders’ personal involvement in the sport. And the connection with the Philippines? In his other photojournalism projects Nacho takes a good look at the Philippines, including its passion for religion. Given the rapidly increasing support in the Philippines for rugby, which I’ve blogged about here and here, maybe one day Nacho might document the grass roots support for the sport in this country.