The Rugby World Cup in 2011 was an exciting time for New Zealand, we were looking forward to showcasing our special country to millions of people across the world. It was also an incredibly exciting time for my team, and Berkley as a whole. One of our team's students was in the running for a lead role in the opening ceremony. Ethan Bai, or as we called him, EJ, was down to the final two for the role. He wasn't allowed to tell us what it involved, but we knew it was big. There were two boys who travelled to Auckland for rehearsals and they weren't going to be told if they were successful until less than 24 hours before the event. When I talked to EJ about it, he was getting more and more nervous, and became convinced he wouldn't get the part because the other boy was 'really good' and he came from Christchurch. EJ felt that because it was months after the fatal Christchurch earthquake, they'd choose him as a 'feel good' story. We were all over the moon when EJ's dad phoned the day before the opening to tell us he had the part. The hardest part is that we weren't allowed to tell the students or anybody else.
All of Berkley was glued to their screens to watch the ceremony. Here is a clip of the part with EJ in it:
Wasn't he fantastic? On the eve of this year's Rugby World Cup, Seven Sharp caught up with EJ, to talk to him about his experience, and what he is doing these days. He seems as neat as he always was and shows us the benefits that come from hard work and determination. Click on the picture below to have a view at the interview.