Testimonial Curtis van der Heyden

March 10, 2016

My experience as a member of the New Zealand Sports Academy began in 2007, and an experience of a lifetime it was at that. I was an unestablished, inexperienced rugby player hoping to grow in knowledge and leave a footprint on the rugby world.

Upon joining I was informed that it was a full time course that required only a few key attributes of me… “hard work, commitment, honesty, and a whole lot of sweat.” It now dawns on me that it was a small price to pay for what I got out of it

The trainers we had at the time were Darrel Shelford and Shaun Tata, who I can not express to how much I enjoyed having them there to kick me in the backside and equally the amount of work they put in to getting the best out of us. The thing that amazes me the most about the coaching staff is just how vast their range of knowledge is. There doesn’t seem to be a thing they do not know about rugby and that quickly rubs off on the students.

Once I completed the programme I joined the Bay of Plenty Rugby Academy which lead to playing for representative sides such as;

Bay of Plenty Under 20s

Bay of Plenty Development

Bay of Plenty Steamers

Bay of Plenty 7s

I was then contracted to a club side in Dallas Texas before being contracted to a club side in Sydney Australia. All of which I accredit to the New Zealand Sports Academy

I am currently a firefighter in Rotorua and spend a lot of my summer times travelling with various invitational sevens teams and competing in tournaments worldwide.


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Testimonials

“My experience at the New Zealand Sports Academy was amazing. Not only in terms of rugby, but learning, living, and being enveloped in the New Zealand way of life. Coming from America and living in a rugby culture, you realize what rugby is all about. The fast pace New Zealand style of rugby is unique. Anyone who is interested in playing rugby in a different country should not consider any other option; the New Zealand Sports Academy is the place to go.”

Timothy Lew, USA