Gore’s Cameron Winsloe is about to have his cross-cultural horizons broadened even more.
The St Peter’s College physical education teacher has been chosen to take part in the Asia New Zealand Foundation Japan Sports Forum from May 18 to 25.
He is one of 10 teachers from throughout New Zealand who will travel to Japan and spend about two weeks in Tokyo experiencing Japanese culture, sport and school life.
Japan is hosting the Rugby World Cup later this year, the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and the World Masters Games in 2021.
Mr Winsloe said he was excited to have the chance to learn about a new culture, but was especially interested in the work Japan was doing before the Rugby World Cup.
“A big focus for me is rugby and it’s going to be really interesting learning about the Rugby World Cup and looking at the infrastructure they’ve put in place, from grassroots to professional level, and what it would be like for our students going over to Japan and pursuing rugby careers,” Mr Winsloe said.
As part of his career he had spent 18 months teaching in London and travelling around Europe and found found cross-cultural experiences invaluable.
“‘I find it very interesting to learn about other cultures.
“It has a huge impact on your teaching being exposed to different cultures and learning from them and how they deliver lessons.”
He was also fond of Asian food and is “definitely looking forward to the cuisine”.
“Asian food is my favourite and in particular Japanese.”
He had never visited Japan before but had spent some time in Indonesia.
The members of the group would meet organisers of the major sporting events and visit venues that would be used during the tournaments. They would also be meeting international rugby players and talking to people who would be providing support to Olympic athletes.
The programme also included watching a sumo tournament, going to a baseball match and visiting an onsen (Japanese hot spring).
Foundation education adviser Yasheeka Bertram said building cultural understanding was a really important part of connecting with Asian countries.
“The major sporting events in Japan coming up offer a great opportunity to connect people over their shared enthusiasm and understanding of rugby.
“This particular group of teachers I know will be bringing back all their learning and putting it in place with their students and in their classrooms.
“Asia is very much in our young people’s future, so the teachers have an important job.”