20 Jan 2015

Young rugby scholar on Navajo exchange

7:19 am on 20 January 2015

A Maori high school student from Kaitaia - who has been selected to play rugby in the United States - says he is looking forward to working on a Native American reservation.

Trevor Beatson, 17, won a scholarship to play rugby in Phoenix, Arizona for six months.

He said besides the opportunity to play the sport over there he would be working voluntarily on a Navajo reservation for a month interacting with the local tangata whenua.

The Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa and Te Arawa descendant said although the scholarship was mainly about rugby an important part of it included giving back to the community, such as helping to maintain vegetable gardens on a reservation and sharing tikanga Maori.

Trevor, who was also a fluent Te Reo speaker and a keen diver, said he was keen to share his experience of growing up as a rangatahi with the young Navajo people he will meet.