Differences between the UK and New Zealand

A look at NZ compared to the UK. The Rugby world cup is on and my son has become an “Oxygen Eater” in swimming...
Its Rugby World Cup time here in New Zealand and it would be remiss not to make a comment about sport at this time.

As a recent resident to New Zealand I am always being asked what I think of NZ and its comparison to the UK etc. For me the attitudes to sport at least are quite visibly different between the two counties at a general level.

In Rugby, currently from pictures and gleeful press reports we have the England squad living it large; out at the pubs and having a great old time with the local girls (Mike Tindall - what were you thinking...?!). The pic below is the English team dwarf throwing no less... Other activities reported included bungee jumping and of course some sport shagging...
rugby14_1998500c
Likewise the other UK teams and Ireland also seem to be having time to enjoy themselves in between games. For the All Blacks however the pressure is on. They are expected to win and given recent NZ world-cup history - where shock horror the All Blacks did not actually win - nothing can be risked that will result in a poorer performance. The country absolutely demands they be at the top of their game and the public pressure to do so is way beyond anything I have ever seen in the UK. As a Scot, even our team beating England does not come close to the pressure and expectations on the All Blacks for a win.

Closer to home but on the same line; my son attends a swimming class. The difference between this and the ones he attended in London are stark. Here in NZ he is drilled the entire lesson. Whilst he enjoys it (to an extent), fun from what I can see is most certainly not on the agenda. Its at best a secondary byproduct. Latest news on that front is that he has moved up a class - from “SuperSeal” to “Oxygen Eater” no less...

“Oxygen Eater” - now there is an expectation within a name. It is an illustration of how sport is perceived in NZ and the attitude to excellence that has seen NZ produce so many world class sportsmen and women. To get beyond this class he will probably need gills...