Category Archives: rugby

30,000km bicycle trek to New Zealand…but then…

Sept 26th, 2010

Something happened recently that really brought this Social Media stuff into context.

Regular readers of my blog here will remember these names …..Tom and Jodi ….who have travelled for nearly 30,000kms from the old dart just to be here….just to arrive in 2011, just in time for the Rugby World Cup.

just keep on going....

 30,000kms is commitment!

On my mobile phone last week, from Picton, whilst Tom was in a rush because they had just a few minutes to board the ferry to Wellington, he mentioned that they sure are happy to finally be here…but they did have some hiccups.

Turns out after all their efforts …one of their major goals was eluding them…

Let alone some other diversions…..

To finalise their multi-country quest….they needed….well to be frank… they really required just one more very important signature on their nicely collected (I’d say “hard earned”) scroll….and lastly it was the one & only …..Richies signature….. calls/emails to his Dunedin agent …no good.

Try as they might, and with numerous involvements…they just weren’t getting through.

A friend suggested they try to ask for help on Facebook….and certainly no doubt they were aided by coverage on too.

What happened next was in their own words “remarkable.”

In double-quick time fashion, they were contacted….by….

Well you tell me if you happen to recognise the chap next to them, in the above photo signing their scroll?

And to his credit…

They should be in Palmerston North this week for the official opening of the NZ Rugby Museum. Today in fact, new Governor-General Jerry Mateparae will conduct one of his first official events, when he unveils a bronze statue of CJ (Charles) Monro, who brought the game to Nelson from England in 1870.


Tom & Jodis official site –

NZ RugbyMuseum –

NZ RugbyMuseum Facebook page –




Nelsonians – Rugby fanatics take note

June 27th, 2011

If you are going to post a comment in the media…….let alone write a syndicated article …… what you say/write.

When I saw this, above “comment”, in the weekend, I got to thinking.

Then……..I just got plain annoyed? Why….well because the brevity that this “flippant” comment seemed to be passed off on….well it wasn’t justified, not in any single way.

Nelsonians, in case you weren’t already aware, well….we absolutely love our rugby.

Don’t forget NELSON was the spot in NEW ZEALAND where the 1st ever game of rugby was played, after CJ himself brought the ball from half a world away [in the days of steamships folks – he was a committed individual] from the mother country.

While I’m at it, can I also remind you readers that the Nelson Rugby Club was the FIRST RUGBY CLUB IN NEW ZEALAND.

Those couple of small incidental facts aside I have a point that I would like to make.


AUCKLAND – Eden Park seems to be (projected) about 60k

WELLINGTON – Caketin – see chart

CHCH – lets not go there at present (see chart)

DUNEDIN – yes a move is on the cards but recent history shows a crowd of….is possible (but see chart)


Here’s the CHART.

kind of self explanatory actually......

The blue bars are based on attendances, then considered against the population of each town, something that seems to have alluded Mr Hinton…

Can we definitely not be passed on so mildly …in a way that sounds like “locals” weren’t interested / involved in the events happening.

No dis-respect, but what can I say –  to Mr Hinton’s

….a disappointingly small crowd..


NOTE just in case you’re interested Aucklanders……the chart above does already reflect factor in a “projected” FULL CAPACITY scenario crowd at your new stadium.




30 Facts about Nelson you probably didnt know


Nelson is the Centre of New Zealand….. [officially it’s not actually at the hilltop point in town itself, but at, as Wikipedia puts it, “a patch of unremarkable dense scrub in a forest in Spooners Range near Tapawera, 35 kilometres south-west of Nelson”]

[2nd] Nelson is the 2nd oldest city in New Zealand [1841]

[1st] We are the oldest city in the South Island

[1st] Our region has the clearest water in the whole world [Guinness Book of World Records says so] -look here to see why / how and now gazetted as such

[1st] Nelson holds the NZ record for highest amount of sunshine in one month, and also in 1 year

Looking out over Haulashore Island & The Boulder Bank to Tasman Bay

Nelson is NZ’s Sunshine Capital [recently other contenders have been trying to get an edge in, but historically Nelson is it]

[1st] NZ’s Oldest Yacht Club, and I’m sure, New Zealands first yachting cup

[1st] Nelson Rugby Club [est. 1870] is New Zealands oldest

[1st] the first rugby game in New Zealand, on 14 May 1870, was played between teams from Nelson College and Nelson Rugby Club

Nelson is the only major city in New Zealand without a rail connection

[1st] New Zealands largest, and obviously at Xmas, busiest Motor Camp [incidentally it’s also the largest motor camp in the Southern Hemisphere]


[1st] Nelson has New Zealands highest tidal range

[1st] Stoke won 1st place in 2011’s inaugural Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards, in the suburb category


[1st] Stoke, where I live, voted officially New Zealand’s best performing real estate suburb in recent years [but more importantly over the GFC timeframe]

Trafalgar Park Nelson being upgraded with the Worlds First Glass Rugby Field!

[1st] the worlds first Rugby playing field made of glass! That is after its recent multi-million dollar upgrade in preparation for the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup matches. Italy will use Nelson as their home base. The country has many touches with our past and our present.

TNL Nelsons new transport depot adjacent the MDF factory in Richmond is also pioneering the way with the same LVL construction for its structure.

[1st] world first in Nelson’s new NMIT Arts & Media Building for utilizing laminated veneer lumber (LVL) primary structure in a multi-storied building [major advantage being its timber earthquake resistance design. NMIT state “The building is sustainable, environmentally sensitive and local, with the design and resources all being sourced within 100 kilometres of Nelson.”]

[2nd] Stoke School [Primary] is the second oldest continuous public school both in Nelson and the whole country.

[1st] Wakefield is the oldest continuous public school both in Nelson and the whole country.

The World comes to Nelson

Port Nelson is the biggest fishing port in Australasia.

[3rd] Nelson College is New Zealands third oldest [preceded only by Christ’s College and Wanganui Collegiate. Two New Zealand Prime Ministers, Sir Wallace Rowling, and Sir Geoffrey Palmer were educated here and the College’s most famous old boy is Nobel Prize winner Lord Ernest Rutherford, who was also born in the region]

[4th] Nelson airport is the fourth-busiest airport in New Zealand

Nelsons suburb / community of Victory voted NZ’s Community of the Year 2010

……….but wait and there’s more…….

NZ’s longest running annual Kite Festival is held in Nelson [2011 was its 20th anniversary] regarded by many as the best in NZ

Nelson is also unique in NZ with 3 spectacular national parks all nearby, NZ’s smallest in Abel Tasman National Park, then massive Kahurangi National Park, and Nelson Lakes National Park which contains the picturesque Lakes Rotoiti, and Lake Rotoroa

In Kahurangi National Park, the largest and deepest explored caverns in the southern hemisphere are located in the cave structure near Takaka Hill, Mt Owen & Mt Arthur

Nelson region is home to the South Islands most northerly Ski Fields, at Mt Robert near St. Arnaud

WOW [World of Wearable Art] was started here in Nelson

New Zealands first ground effects flying machine was “backyard built” in Nelson

The One Ring™ featured in Peter Jacksons The Lord of the Rings™ movie trilogy, was crafted by a local Nelsonian jeweler, Jens Hansen and replicas can actually be purchased from his store in Nelson.

Popular stop for those contemplating marriage proposals it would seem

very possibly the oldest commercial building still extant in NZ

New Zealands oldest Immigrant selected Nelson to live out his later years, originally from the UK, Eric King-Turner said;

“What’s important is that when I’m 105 I don’t want to be thinking I wish I had moved to the other side of the world when I was 102.”

Fanatical UK Rugby Cyclists pass half way on RWC2011 pilgrimage

March 7th, 2011

Having just emerged from 3 months cyber blackout of China, a couple of young pommie rugby fanatics have just passed the halfway mark of their epic 28000km journey cycling half way around the world from Twickenham to Eden Park in NZ,  for the RWC2011 Final.

In doing so, Tom Hudson & Jodie Burton are raising money for two children’s charities along the way – one UK based and the other international.

Since leaving London on 1 May 2010, they have been on the road 10 months and have already passed the halfway mark arriving in Ha Noi on 2 March 2011.

Tom & Jodie

On Monday, 7 March, they leave Hanoi to cycle 5000km down through Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia to Singapore.

Taking a ferry across to Jakarta they will cycle across Indonesia to East Timor before getting to Darwin late May.

Then they will cycle 1000km east across Australia’s north then 3500km south down east coast through Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra to Melbourne.


Next, after flying across the Tasman Sea to Dunedin, they will cycle 1200km north through RWC NZ’s ‘Stadium of 4m”, timing their ride to attend as many local rugby clubs and RWC games on the way plus attending the 20 September Re-Enactment of the first 1870 rugby game in Nelson, the 24-26 September Charles Monro Reunion and Re-Opening of the NZ Rugby Museum (ED: some new thing called “smartlinks” is attempting to hijack this link – its the NZ Rugby Museum I am talking about in Palmy) weekend in Palmerston North, before they leisurely cycle up the North Island to arrive in Auckland, to deliver their official Gilbert RWC2011 rugby ball and a ‘World in Union’ Scroll to Eden Park for the RWC Final on 23 October 2011.

Google Map detailing progress (CLICK TO VIEW)

All the way from London they are touching as many rugby communities, organisations, players and fans in each of the 28 countries (16 so far) they cycle through collecting rugby memorabilia and signatures of key rugby people for their World in Union Scroll, to be gifted by them to the new NZ Rugby Museum at its re-opening in late September 2011.

Having cycled 28000km from Twickenham to Eden Park, via the South Island and Nelson, they then very much hope to enjoy standing, jumping, shouting, anything but sitting to watch England beat Namibia in the RWC Final on 23 October 2011.

However, in the event that either NZ or Australia win the RWC2011, they will then seek ‘rugby asylum’ in the winning country and stay on until RWC2015 in London, when they may well lead RWC2015 tour groups back to London…but definitely not on bikes but perhaps on a solar-powered plane or fast yacht!

Related links;

The Journey Starts….(NZ Tourism article)

Brits show true grit on World Cup ride (NZ Herald article Feb 2011)

Rugby World Cup?.. On your bike! (IRB – International Rugby Board news article)

Rugby Times news article

further media coverage is detailed here

Follow Tom and Jodie’s ride on:
Contact them by email : or Twitter or Facebook via links on their website above.

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late March, and they have reached Laos – and her’es Tom & Jodies latest filed report direct from their website.