The CNMI rugby team’s community work turned out to have a double purpose.
Aside from providing help to the victims of Super Typhoon Yutu, the squad also managed to get an instant “workout,” which it badly needed after weeks of having no training sessions.
“We all needed to break a sweat,” said Northern Marianas Rugby Union president and team assistant coach Stanley Iakopo, who along with the more than 10 members of the squad helped rebuild Isla Montessori School in Dandan and donated clothing to two shelters.
“We need to get back to training and conditioning, especially we will be playing against Japan in late January,” said Iakopo adding that working together in assisting community members also strengthens the team’s bond.
After fixing the classrooms at Isla Montessori, Iakopo and company will head to Oleai Elementary School this weekend.
“We will be very busy helping our people. We will fix the classrooms at the Oleai Elementary School this Saturday,” the NMRU head said.
Meanwhile, Isla Montessori official Susan Book expressed gratitude to the CNMI rugby players, as their assistance made the return of the students to school possible.
“I was in absolute tears as I watched these men that had absolutely no connection to our school spent their entire day putting up a ceiling for the children’s classroom and resetting the fence for the entire school,” Book said in a message sent to Iakopo.
“Throughout the day, some left a bit to get water and necessities for their own family and then came back. The selflessness and sense of community service the rugby team showed was truly astounding. Isla Montessori School staff, board, families, and children are forever grateful to them for making it possible to open the school post Yutu on Nov. 13. Thank you Stanley for putting the call out to the boys. They truly showed team work,” she added.