A group of local King’s High School students will appear in a new advertising campaign with All Black Ben Smith, which launches today.
Dunedin-born Smith recently captained the All Blacks to a convincing win against Manu Samoa.
As part of the campaign, Smith trained with King’s High School’s First XV and told them a strong work ethic and planning are essential to a successful career in rugby. He also caught up with his former coach Richard Lindsay.
The Voltaren television commercial featuring Smith will run from tonight supported by a digital media campaign for the anti-inflammatory medicine featuring a number of the students.
“Coaches and teachers at the time when I was at King’s played a massive part of who I am. I enjoyed everything about rugby, getting in alongside your mates and making sure we were trying to improve. Not much has changed apart from probably the skill level has gone up a bit,” says Smith.
His advice to the students was simple, telling them to “keep pursuing” their dreams.
“Whatever sport it is, or even if it’s not sport just to go for it because if you’re passionate about something that can probably take you a long way,” he says.
Smith said a number of King’s High School former students were influential in shaping his own ambition.
“I had a few heroes growing up and a few of them went to King’s – Carl Hayman, Brownie [Tony Brown] who is now coaching the Highlanders. Brendon McCullum – the way he plays cricket, he gets out there and is pretty aggressive and l like that approach.
“I was lucky to be a part of King’s High, a pretty good time in your life and I made some good memories. It’s great to have that support and that’s what life’s about – having good family and friends.” says Smith.
King’s High School Rector, Dan Reddiex, who remembers Smith from school says even back then Smith showed he had the willingness to be the best.
“Ben would run 10 kilometres after a rugby game – he showed us if you want to be the best that’s what it takes – the willingness to go beyond what other people are willing to do,” says Reddiex.