A parade through Invercargill’s inner-city, to celebrate Southland Boys’ High School’s historic win in the New Zealand Barbarians 1st XV National championships, has been cancelled because of temperamental weather.
Southland Boys' High School came from behind to beat Westlake Boys' and take out the prestigious Moascar Cup, winning their school’s first-ever national rugby title in its more than 100-year history.
A victory parade, organised in collaboration with Invercargill City Council and Great South, to honour the sporting success was planned to take place in Invercargill city on Wednesday afternoon.
Great South Chief Executive Chami Abeysinghe said a blustery and wet forecast had put a dampener on those plans, and the difficult decision had been made to cancel.
“It’s unfortunate we’re not able to proceed with this celebration. It would have brought real vibrancy to the central city, but the weather isn’t playing the game.”
Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark said he was still looking forward to welcoming the boys to a reception at the Council tomorrow to honour their win.
“As a city and as a province, we’re incredibly proud of what the boys have achieved on the national stage. It’s a bit of a common thread that unites those of us here in Southland: when one of our own, or in this case a group of our own, achieve something out of the ordinary, we rally behind to celebrate them, regardless of the arena they have competed in. They have certainly done us all proud.”
Southland Boys’ High School Principal Simon Coe said it was a shame the weather had cancelled the parade – but the accomplishments of the team would be a lasting memory regardless.
“The team is humbled by the support and well wishes they’ve received since their win,” he said. “We really appreciate the enthusiasm with which the community has celebrated their success.”
“The memory of how the whole province celebrated their achievements will remain with these boys for a lifetime. Now, at a crucial time in their studies, it’s back to normality and time to focus on exams.”