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Rugby World Cup: Culture and Community

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These are the things you should be able to do after you have completed the activities in this strand:

  • Explain that different people may have different ideas about the Rugby World Cup based on their beliefs, and how they will be affected by the event.
  • Describe some of the reasons why different people may be in favour of the event being held in New Zealand while others are not convinced.
  • Discuss the idea of empathy and describe their own experiences exploring different viewpoints about the Rugby World Cup.
  • List a number of countries which will be sending national teams to the Rugby World Cup 2011.
  • Discuss how New Zealand's role as the host nation implies a responsibility to ensure that visiting teams and supporters are well looked after, and why this is important for New Zealand as well as the success of the tournament.
  • Reflect on your own opinions about the Rugby World Cup and how it might affect you.

How will people be affected by the Rugby World Cup?

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At the end of this activity you should be able to discuss how and why people might have different opinions about how hosting the Rugby World Cup will affect them and other people who live in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Government considers the Rugby World Cup 2011 to be a very important event for the country, and has even appointed a Rugby World Cup Minister to help the planning for the tournament to run smoothly. From the starter activities you are already aware that the government has changed the school holidays to cut down traffic flows in the major centres while the knock-out stage of the Rugby World Cup is being played. The event will cause a lot of disruption to people's normal activities during the spring season of 2011. Lots of people have very different ideas about the Rugby World Cup.

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Exploring different people's ideas and feelings about the Rugby World Cup

  • Divide a sheet of paper in half. On one side put the heading 'People I think would support having Rugby World Cup matches in their town'. On the other side put the heading 'People I think might not want to have Rugby World Cup matches in their town'.
  • Think about different people who have different jobs. Who might like to have lots of tourists visiting? Why? People with these occupations might want their town to host Rugby World Cup matches. List people with these jobs (or these interests - like rugby fans!) under the supporting side heading. Come up with at least five ideas.
  • On the other hand, there will be people who might be worried about having Rugby World Cup matches staged in their town. What could their reasons be? Put these ideas down on the other side of your paper. See how many you can come up with.
  • Overall do you think there would be more people who wanted matches played in their town, or more people who'd be against it? Would there be many people who didn't feel strongly either way do you think? What are your reasons?
  • Discuss your ideas with the people around you.


You may have found that other people may have similar ideas to your own, or that theirs are actually quite different.  That's not a problem because there are no 'right' or 'wrong' ideas about these issues.  In the next activity you will need to work in a small group with others from your class.  You could work with a group of up to six people.  Your teacher may want to put you in a particular group for this activity or you may be able to choose your own group to work with.

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Discussing the Rugby World Cup from different viewpoints

Choose a person's name from the list below and click on it. The link will take you to a few details of an imaginary character who has an opinion about the Rugby World Cup being held in New Zealand.

  • What are your character's feelings about the Rugby World Cup? How strong do you think those feelings are? (For example, are they very excited about it, or only interested when it affects them?)
  • What are you character's main reasons for how they feel? (Do you think their ideas are fair?)

Share your character's details and opinions with the group you are working with. Listen to what their characters' opinions are about the Rugby World Cup

  • When you have heard all the others' ideas, were there any that you'd not thought about before?
  • Which of the other characters do you think your character would have agreed with? (Who might they have supported in a debate?)
  • Were there any arguments that might have made your character change his or her mind? (Why or why not?)
  • Which of the arguments you heard was the most convincing do you think (That doesn't mean you have to agree with it - although you might!)

Share your thoughts with the others in the group.

James Nadia Wiremu Sam Rangi Heather Dion Sara Trevor Anthea Kevin Temepara Mike Shona
David Allan Lydia Sione Dannielle Ben Olivia Emily Laura George Darryl Rimupae Laura Peter

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Hearing some other voices...

Your teacher may decide to take the discussions different groups have been having and broaden these into a whole class activity.

  • If this happens, you will be taking the role of the person you've already been working with.
  • Try to be as 'real' as you can as that person, but also try to listen carefully to other class members' characters' ideas.
  • Some ideas will be like your own, some will be like your character's, soem will be taking different sides and some you might not have thought of before.

The key thing to remember is that there are lots of different positions that people can take on an issue.


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Portfolio Activity

Someone else's shoes...

The idea of 'putting yourself in someone else's shoes', means to try to understand how a person might be feeling about a situation. It doesn't mean how you might feel in that situation, but how they might be feeling, remembering that they are a different person to you with different thoughts and feelings. This process is called empathy.  

In this reflective exercise you are to write pretending that you are someone else who has a different opinion about the Rugby World Cup from your own thoughts. It might be your character from the last exercise, or perhaps one of the other characters from the group you worked with. For example, if you love rugby and can't wait for the Rugby World Cup to start, try writing as someone who isn't at all interested and is annoyed at all the money being spent to upgrade stadiums. Or if you don't care about rugby, try imagining yourself as someone who does, or someone whose business is going to be helped by all the visitors to the tournament.)

In your portfolio put yourself in that person's shoes and write a paragraph explaining how they are feeling about the Rugby World Cup and why they're feeling that way. Explain their feelings as though you mean them. When you have finished, write a response to that person explaining your own feelings. You don't have to convince the other person that they're wrong: the key thing is to understand that people can have quite different ideas about an issue, and that every person has reasons for their opinions that seem fair enough to them.

Add the word 'empathy' to your glossary and write an definition for it in your own words.
Choose two other words that came up in your discussion that you found interesting and put them in your glossary as well (with your explanation of what they mean.)


Who's all coming to the Rugby World Cup?

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At the end of this activity you should be able to discuss the different teams coming to the Rugby World Cup in 2011, and have created a resource to help New Zealanders make a foreign team and its supporters feel more welcome when they visit a New Zealand town or city.

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The map shows all the countries that have been to previous Rugby World Cup tournaments and the host countries for these tournaments.

Of the twenty teams coming to New Zealand in 2011, only one - Russia - has not been to a previous Rugby World Cup.

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Where are all the teams coming from?

Use an atlas to find where all the countries are that are coming to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The countries attending will be:

  • Pool A: New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Japan
  • Pool B: Argentina, England, Scotland, Georgia, Romania
  • Pool C: Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, United States
  • Pool D: South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Namibia

Using your atlas and the map above, which teams which have previously qualified for the Rugby World Cup will not be playing in the 2011 tournament?

Which team has played in two finals, but not won the Rugby World Cup?

Which teams - based on past performance - have the best chance of winning the 2011 event? Which team is probably the least likely to win?

In which countries do you think Rugby might be an important sport? (What are your reasons for thinking this?)

Which countries do you think will have the most supporters travelling to New Zealand in 2011 to cheer on their teams? (What are your reasons for this? Think about not only the importance of rugby in different countries, but also the populations of those countries (how many people they have) and how wealthy the people living in the different countries are.)


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Which team's supporters should the host country look after most?

Read the following statements and think about which ones you agree with, which ones you disagree with and why.

  1. As the host country New Zealand must ensure that all supporters feel equally as important. This is only fair.
  2. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealand should particularly look after the supporters from countries which normally send the most tourists to New Zealand. New Zealand must make sure that these groups have a great time so that tourists will keep coming from these countries in the future.
  3. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealand should particularly look after the supporters of teams which are likely to at least make the quarter finals of the tournament. These supporters will be here longer than the supporters of other teams which get knocked out early, so they'll spend more money overall on accommodation and restaurants and tourist activities, so this group should be the priority.
  4. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealand should particularly look after the visiting team which has the most supporters who travel to New Zealand. New Zealand should do this because this is the biggest group, so they'll spend the most money in the country while they're here, so for this reason they should be looked after most.
  5. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealand should particularly look after the supporters who have travelled the furthest to get here. New Zealand should look after these groups because they made the effort to come this far, and so they must be keen to see New Zealand as well as their team.
  6. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealand should particularly look after the supporters from countries that don't normally have a lot to do with New Zealand. New Zealanders should take this chance to show off their country, so these people will go home with good feelings about New Zealand, which might mean more tourists would come from these countries in the future.
  7. While the host country must make everyone feel welcome, New Zealanders should make a special effort to welcome supporters who don't speak English. These people might feel very out of place here, but if the locals try to make them feel at home, they will go back to their own country happy. This will be good for New Zealand in the long term.

Which of the statements do you most agree with? If you had to put the statements in order from most true to least true, what order would you put them in and why?

Discuss your ideas with the people sitting near you.

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For many teams and supporters, the Rugby World Cup 2011 will be their first time to visit New Zealand.  What sorts of things do you think it might be helpful for these visitors to know about the people of New Zealand and the places they are visiting?  For the locals of the host cities, what might it be helpful to know about the nations whose teams and supporters will be arriving to attend the matches?  In the following activity, you will work either on your own or in pairs be putting together a resource to help this process.

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Bringing people together at the Rugby World Cup

Imagine you have been asked by the city council of a New Zealand city to prepare a pamphlet to help the citizens of the city to know a little bit about the country and people of a visiting team and supporters, in order to be able to make them feel welcome. The pamphlet is particularly going to be for the locals to be able to understand and support teams whose players and fans may not speak English.

What might help the locals be more welcoming? There are a few things that could clearly help

  • Knowing where in the world the people are from (this might include a map and a picture of the country's flag)
  • Knowing a little bit about the country, its people and its history
  • You might be able to find out a little about the country's rugby history
  • It could be very useful to find out how they say things like 'hello', 'goodbye' or even 'welcome to New Zealand' or 'Go Georgia' (or Russia, or France or wherever)

These ideas are there to start you off. The council has asked you to produce a pamphlet or card that can be handed out to or picked up by the locals, to help them help the visitors to have a great time in the city. You will need to do some research in your library or online using the internet to help you find information for your pamphlet. The list below shows which non-English speaking teams will be playing in which cities. You can decide which city and team(s) you want to prepare a pamphlet for.

This activity will take you some time. You will have to find your information, and then design and produce your pamphlet. Your teacher will talk with you about how much time you have and when your completed pamphlet needs to be ready.

Pool match venues for non English speaking teams (matches 1-4)
Argentina Dunedin Invercargill Wellington Palmerston North
Fiji Rotorua Wellington Auckland Hamilton
France Auckland Napier Auckland Wellington
Georgia Dunedin Dunedin       Palmerston North Palmerston North
Italy North Harbour Nelson Nelson Dunedin
Japan Auckland Hamilton Whangarei Napier
Namibia Rotorua Rotorua Auckland New Plymouth
Romania Invercargill Invercargill Dunedin Palmerston North
Russia New Plymouth    Nelson Rotorua Nelson
Samoa Rotorua Hamilton Auckland Auckland
Tonga Auckland Whangarei Whangarei Wellington

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Self Assessment

You need to think about how you will judge how effective your completed pamphlet design is. You need to decide what is important and how you will measure how well this is done. Some things to consider are:

  • How eye catching is the design? (after all, if no one picks it up and reads it, it's not much good is it?)
  • What the message of the pamphlet is and how well does it get across to the reader?
  • How much information is contained in the pamphlet, and how easy is it for people to use?

You need to think about what a good pamphlet is going to look like and what it's going to need to have in it. Share your ideas with the people around you, and then your teacher will help the class to put all the ideas on a display so that you can agree on what you are going to be doing.

When you have completed your design you should be able to assess your own work yourself, or as a class you might decide to assess each other's work.

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Portfolio Activity

Upload a photo of your pamphlet or a PDF version to your eportfolio.

Using the assessment criteria you developed as a class, describe with examples from your work, how well you think you completed this activity.

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Does it matter?

In this strand of the unit you've thought about how different people can have different ideas about whether an event is a good thing or a bad thing. For the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, there are fair arguments both supporting it and saying that it's not a good thing.

In creating your pamphlet you've also had to think about people from another culture visiting New Zealand when they travel here to support their country's team. Most of these people will not have been to New Zealand before, and most will probably not visit here again.

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Portfolio Activity

  • Glossary: Add the words 'citizen' and 'pamphlet' to your glossary, and give definitions for these words. Put one of the greeting words you've found from a different language into your glossary too, along with how to say the word (who says all the words in your glossary have to be in English?)
  • Reflection: Write a new reflective post explaining what your opinion is about the Rugby World Cup and how it affects your community and New Zealand. You might think it's going to be fabulous for the country, or you might think it's a huge waste of money. You might see how businesses could benefit, or you might feel that the money could have been used elsewhere. You might see both sides of the argument. Explain what your thoughts are, and your reasons. (Remember - you can't be wrong - and your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's!)
  • Questions: In a new post, write down your answers to these questions in your portfolio, and add any other ideas you feel are important about how New Zealand should be preparing for the Rugby World Cup.
    • How much effort do you think New Zealand and New Zealanders should be putting in to try to make these people feel welcome?
    • How important is it do you think? Why?
    • If you think it is important, what could be done to help make it happen? (you've made a pamphlet, but that's just one idea)