First up on the events calendar was a breakfast hosted with Northwood School. Plumtree was joined by, Gary Teichmann (Sharks CEO), Grant Bashford (Northwood 1st team Rugby Head Coach) and John Allan, in a panel discussion covering topics such as the future of Sharks Rugby, the role school rugby plays in developing the game and the importance of building a strong sense of community between the Sharks team and the supporters. The proceeds from the event went to Northwood rugby and Sharks development.
Next up was the ‘GameOn – Locker Room’ dinner hosted by John Allan. Allan invited Plumtree, Mark Steele (former Sharks/Springboks conditioning coach) and Graham Hill (former swimming coach of Chad Le Clos) to join him onstage in an interesting discussion where each individual had an opportunity to share their insight and experiences from their own coaching careers. It was a great evening and Allan makes for an entertaining host asking questions you wouldn’t normally hear elsewhere.
The following morning was a seminar held for coaches and invested partners of local school and club rugby. The session was again hosted by John Allan and included talks from Eduard Coetzee (the Sharks COO), Mark Steele, and John Plumtree.
Last but not least was a VIP Q&A lunch with Plumtree and Allan hosted by Bidvest Insurance. The event was held in the Presidential Suite at Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium and it was an interactive affair with questions coming from members of the audience. Questions directed at Plumtree surrounded New Zealand’s current dominance in world rugby and what it is that gives them the edge. The answer is not a simple one and ranges from rugby development at grass root level to the importance of self-reliance instilled in the psyche of the professional rugby player. Those in attendance are no doubt wishing that the possibility of an Irish victory over the All Blacks the following day was put to Plumtree.
At the end of it all, Plumtree had somehow not lost his voice and all the events were a great success. It was a pleasure to hear Plumtree sharing his views on a number of topics and we wish him all the best for the upcoming 2017 Super Rugby Season.