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Community the focus for Ngati Porou East Coast coach Hosea Gear

CONCERN for the community far outweighed concerns about the cancellation of the Heartland Rugby Championships this year for Ngati Porou East Coast rugby coach Hosea Gear.

Gear was to take over the reins of East Coast representative rugby this season from previous coach Wayne Ensor.

He spoke to The Herald yesterday from his home in Australia.

“It is a strange and unique situation for us all to be in, and is something that none of us have control over,” Gear said.

“For me personally, I am more concerned about the wellbeing of everyone in our communities and the impact that this will have on whanau and their jobs.

“I feel our hands are a little tied at the moment and that first and foremost we must rely on the decisions of Jacinda and our Government, before we can move forward or even try to plan anything,” he said.

“We are starting to think about possible scenarios for East Coast rugby already but the reality is we won't know anything until later on down the track.

“So, it's more of a waiting game now, and in the meantime keeping everyone safe.”

He was asked how the decision to cancel the club and Heartland competitions this year had affected him and his family.

“We already had plans to settle in Australia and from that point of view nothing has changed.

“The only change is that I won't be flying home as often, and that I get to spend more time with my family, which is great,” Gear said.

“We will still hope to have some representative games, so I will be planning and preparing for those.

“But again, we won't know the possibilities until things unfold over the next few months.”

Gear said he would stay in Australia for now, until further notice, or until further decisions around Covid-19 were made by the New Zealand Government.

He and his Australian-born wife Kate have twins Micah and Kaden-Ray, aged 8, another son, Ocean, aged 4, and stepdaughter Kaliyah, aged 13.

“We are living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and the current situation involves homeschooling for the kids, and renovating our house.

“There is no lockdown over here yet so the tradies are still working. We are trying to organise as much of the work as we can while we can.”

WHANAU CONCERNS: Ngati Porou East Coast rugby coach Hosea Gear has expressed concern for communities and whanau in this region around Covid-19, concerns that outweigh the cancellation of the Heartland Championship. He was pictured with his wife Kate and their children (from left) Micah, Kaden-Ray, Ocean and stepdaughter Kaliyah on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, where they live. Picture supplied