On the anniversary of what would have been his 46th birthday, the wife of Jonah Lomu has announced a new scholarship in his name to continue the legacy of the legendary All Black.
Nadene Lomu continues to work on the projects that she and Jonah were developing prior to his passing, including the JL11 Collection and scholarship programme.
‘As my promise to Jonah, I am determined to continue working on the dreams that Jonah and I had to build on his phenomenal legacy, to help inspire future generations.
‘Through various Jonah Lomu scholarships as well as individual and team sponsorships throughout New Zealand and internationally, I have been able to assist in helping others move a few steps closer to achieving their dreams.
‘Dealing with my grief and that of our boys has been more than difficult, but through Jonah’s JL11 clothing brand I have been able to continue helping others by giving them a piece of Jonah, in a sense. I know Jonah continues to inspire many not only here in New Zealand but around the world, too.’
‘When you put on your special piece of Jonah’s JL11 Collection, it’s so much more than a T-shirt, a cap, or even a hoodie, it’s a reminder of believing in yourself and taking the chance to chase your dreams and never giving up, just like Jonah.’
Jonah’s special relationship with counties rugby is also commemorated by the selection of two counties recipients each year for the Jonah Lomu Scholarship.
The vice-captain of the 2020 NZ Fijian School Boys team, Veveni Lasaqa, was grateful for the impact of the scholarship which allowed them to play at the World School Rugby 7s tournament.
‘Personally, I would like to thank you for sponsoring us for this year’s NZ Fiji babas team, it was a privilege and the boys were more than grateful for your support. Without it none of this would have happened.’
In celebration of Jonah’s birthday this year, Nadene and the boys are launching a new scholarship in Jonah’s name at Rotorua Boys’ High School. The scholarship will be launched in partnership with Chris Ginter, who was Jonah’s mentor when he was at school, and will provide sporting opportunities for school students.
‘Working with Jonah during his high-school years has been one of the highlights of my career in education. I am therefore honoured to have been asked by Nadene Lomu to continue my special connection with Jonah through this scholarship’.
One lesser known fact about Jonah Lomu is that the wing was an avid fan of music. He particularly enjoyed programming music selections for an online radio station. In honour of this part of his personality, his wife is producing a song entitled ‘Jonah – Impossible is Nothing’.
‘When Raymond Bishop from the MGN [My Greatest Now] band approached me asking if his band could produce a song to honour Jonah’s life, I suggested that Jonah’s birthday, May 12th, would be a good time to launch the song worldwide.’
The song is available for download at iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify.