Sept. 28, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue junior Caden Shields and sophomore Simon Rogers made the long trip across the Pacific Ocean to join the Boilermakers' cross country and track and field teams from their home country of New Zealand. As just two out of about 25 Kiwi's that have the opportunity to compete at an NCAA Division I institution in the United States, Shields and Rogers now have an outlet to share their experiences at Purdue with their countrymen back home.
The Boilermaker Kiwi's were contacted by NZ Run.com about participating in a blog forum on their website between several New Zealand nationals. It gives them not only a chance to share their experiences with each other, but also with their country.
"This opportunity means a lot to me," said Shields. "I know that I'm getting an experience that not many people get, both in this country and my own, and being able to share it with my friends and family and young runners across New Zealand is fantastic."
Shields as already posted one blog on the site, while Rogers plans to soon. Shields opened with a bit of the history on his coming to Purdue, and his admiration for Boilermaker assistant coach Conor Holt, an international import as well. Holt came to the states from his native land of Ireland to compete in cross country and track and field for the University of Oklahoma, and is excited about this opportunity for Shields and Rogers.
"They (Shields and Rogers) are getting to do something that definitely wasn't available to me when I was running," said Holt. "It's an excellent chance for them to share their experiences and let young runners all over the world what it's like to compete both for Purdue and in NCAA Division I athletics."
Follow the Purdue New Zealanders and their experiences at NZ Run.com and at PurdueSports.com. The Boilermakers continue competition on Saturday, heading to the Louisville Community Classic.