Dedicated couple rewarded after turning around school rugby team's fortunes

The St John’s College 1st XV from Hastings were a little down and out after almost a decade with no wins.

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Ritchie and Rochelle Williams stepped in as volunteer coach and manager of St John’s College 1st XV in Hastings. Source: Seven Sharp

That all changed last year when Ritchie and Rochelle Williams stepped in as volunteer coach and manager.

The dynamic duo gave the team what they were missing – belief in themselves and a true team spirit.

Under the pair’s [affectionately known as Aunty and Uncle] direction, the team won two games in the season against arch-rivals Te Aute College and Wanganui Collegiate, breaking an eight-year-long losing streak.

While there was so much to celebrate, hard times were never far away for the Williams family – with Ritchie was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. He is about to start radiation treatment again.

Parents of the 1st XV players nominated them for an ASB Good as Gold Award saying: "As a tight community we want to pull together and not only show this them how much they mean to us, but we want every New Zealander to know how lucky we are to have them in our lives."

ASB awarded Ritchie and Rochelle $10,000, which they intend to use to help them through the time Ritchie is off work for treatment.

Watch the heartwarming moment the deserving couple are gifted with the money in the video above.