New goal posts and a special day for school

Josh Thompson (10), of St Bernadette's School, is carried on the shoulders of Otago midfielder...
Josh Thompson (10), of St Bernadette's School, is carried on the shoulders of Otago midfielder Josh Timu in front of the school’s new rugby posts yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
You might say St Bernadette’s School has swapped one religion for another.

On the site where St Bernadette’s Church stood for nearly 83 years is a brand new set of goal posts.

And the school has year 5 pupil Josh Thompson to thank for it.

The old church was demolished in 2017 and eventually grass won the battle with the mud to claim possession of the vacant lot.

But the area lacked a little something and 10-year-old Josh reckoned he knew what it was — goal posts.

Deputy principal Gerard Shaw said Josh wrote a convincing letter to the board whose members agreed it was a great idea.

"Now that the ground is all ready to go, the board have committed funds purchasing the goal posts and we are now able to use them," Shaw said.

"Now I think he has plans for another set down the other end of the ground."

The site is sure to host many, many tense games of rugby and football — a religion for some.

To mark the occasion, about half a dozen Otago players fronted for the official opening yesterday.

Jamie Mackintosh was a big hit with the children. They gasped in horror when the prop revealed he was 35 years old.

Shock turned to awe when he owned up to weighing in at a hulking 130kg.

But everyone was thoroughly impressed when he confessed he could gobble down three foot-long subs in one sitting.

Even Otago centre Josh Timu, who normally just sticks to one, was a little impressed.

The 23-year-old enjoyed meeting the pupils and seeing the smiles on their faces.

"I was in Wanaka for my primary school days and we got a lot of snowsport people and skiers coming along to school which was quite cool," he said.

"You always remember it. It is pretty fun as kids," he added.


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