© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

All Blacks skills session with Muslim community

Mitchell Redman

A selection of All Blacks have held an exclusive skills and drills session for children affected by the terror attacks of March 15.

Today's special All Blacks visit to Christchurch was a trip New Zealanders would say, the players should never have had to make. 

However, their visit was met with smiles, cheers and laughter from children directly affected by the Christchurch terror attacks of March 15.

Local All Blacks Richie Mo'unga and Sam Whitelock were joined by Auckland teammates, Sonny Bill Williams and Ofa Tu'ungafasi, both of whom are Muslim.


About 30 children and their families took part in the exclusive training session at the YMCA Centre in Bishopdale.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and Canterbury Resilience Foundation, an organisation set up to support children affected by the mosque shootings, put together the event.

Foundation co-founder Abdigani Ali said "the smile on the kids summed the event up".

"It was really exciting to have our national pride come and visit us."

SBW Signing
Sonny Bill Williams signs autographs for the people in attendance. Mitch Redman

A mosque shooting survivor, who asked for his name not to be published, said it was "very special" to have the All Blacks spend time with their community and that it was something positive for his children.

Richie Mo'unga said that he was left "sweating" after the session, but "it was a great opportunity to throw the ball around with the kids".

Sonny Bill Williams said reconnecting with some of the people he met in hospital was important, and it was great to see his "brothers" back on their feet.

Williams went onto say that hopefully there might one-day be a future All Black or Black Fern within the group.