Sport in New Zealand
Sport is probably just as big in New Zealand as it is in South Africa with rugby, cricket and netball being the three most popular sports played.
Any rugby enthusiast needs no introduction to New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Black. The Kiwis are probably as passionate about the All Blacks as a Blou Bull supporter at Loftus Versveld just after the Blue Bulls have won the Curry Cup. The whole country literally goes into mourning after an All Black loss. Kids are encouraged to participate in sport from an early age with sports like Rippa and Tag Rugby being played in early primary already.
One of the most awesome traditions before international matches is for the Kiwi team to do the Haka, which is a Maori war dance. You can see the Haka performed in the video below:
The second most popular sport in New Zealand, and only by a small margin, is Netball. The national team is called the Silver Ferns and every single one of the team members are national icons. Two of the key members of theSilver Ferns are actually an ex-South Africans, nl., Irene Van Dyk and Leana de Bruin :
Other Sports in New Zealand
Along with the cricket, two other sports that are gaining popularity in New Zealand are soccer and basketball, especially since the soccer team did so well at the last world cup in South Africa.
Time Zones & Sport
One problem however with living in New Zealand is the large time difference between South Africa and Europe. Which means most of the International sporting events which we were able to watch during the day / early evening in South Africa, are now mostly in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. This takes some getting used to and you may actually find yourself watching the replay instead of the live games.
The flip side to this is that you will now be able to watch other sports live which were at odd hours when you lived in South Africa. Especially the OZ rules league matches and the American sports like American Football, Basketball and Baseball.
Kiwi Team Names
Here are a few of the Kiwi team names:
Rugby : All Blacks