We've always had a lot of respect for former All Black captain Tana Umaga. He's had a couple of stumbles along the way (both in Christchurch; interesting!), but through his career he developed into a man of character. The term "role model" is bandied about far too much in our ever-humble opinion, but if ever there was a sportsman who could be described that way, it is Umaga.
And now, as the Dominion-Post reports, Umaga is giving back to the community from which he came - read on:
Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga has plenty of fond memories of growing up in Wainuiomata.
It was where he met his wife, Rochelle, and where he made his mark in league before going on to a successful rugby union career.
Last night Umaga, who now lives in South Auckland, was back at his old school to give three pupils a hand to get their own careers off the ground.
Umaga was the guest speaker at Wainuiomata High School's senior prizegiving, where he presented the first Tana Umaga Foundation Scholarships.
The foundation (known as TUF) was set up three years ago to assist promising young New Zealanders, who are hardworking but might not otherwise have the opportunity to excel educationally and achieve their potential.
Tana Umaga has done well out of rugby. He's been on a very well-paying gig in France, and being a former All Black captain is a natural door-opener. So it's great to see that he's investing some of his own money in young people from his home town.
The three recipients of the TUF scholarships are young people with big dreams, and with more choices available to them than Umaga had. Thanks to his generosity, each will be just a little bit closer to achieving their dream. That's got to be a good thing.