BEFORE Sir Graham Henry took to the stage at a Southland Boys’ High School (SBHS) senior assembly on Thursday, the boys were reminded of his mana.
The pupils were told by SBHS associate rector Ray Laurenson, of Sir Graham’s coaching pedigree, his former job as a boys’ school principal and the fact he was a Sir.
So it came as no surprise when, in return, the young men performed an emotional and powerful haka one which honoured their visitor.
The reason Sir Graham was at the school, was to thank them for their commitment to raise money for the Plunket Foundation through a lottery which the pupils would be selling within the community.
Before the assembly, Sir Graham said boys’ schools throughout the country would be selling the tickets.
“It’s about boys helping mums.
“Southland Boys’ (High School) have 700 books and they are selling them on behalf of Plunket as a community service.”
Plunket was 80% funded by the Government, he said.
“And we (Plunket Foundation) raise the rest.”
Research had shown that self-regulation, self-discipline and self-control were key factors leading to success.
“We are helping the Plunket nurses to understand about self regulation,” Sir Graham said.
During the assembly, he reiterated this to the pupils.
“High expectation is important… if you haven’t got that you’re not going to reach your potential.”
It was important to surround yourself with people you trusted, friends you could be vulnerable with.
“Who you can talk to about any challenges.”
He said the boys needed to look at what really “pushed your buttons” and encouraged them to really think about what they were passionate about.
Coming up with a bit of a life game-plan would also help them with keeping them on track and also appreciating that you can always push yourself a bit harder.
“If you think you’re there, that’s when you’re dead. When you’re striving, that’s when you become something special.”
While he would not be pushed to name who were his least favourite All Blacks to coach, during a question and answer session, he did say everyone was given an opportunity to prove themselves.
“We obviously made some mistakes, we don’t always get it right. We made some mistakes and that was our (the selectors) fault.”
He said the biggest ask of all the players was to be humble and show integrity.
“Do what you say you’re going to do.”