In September 2020, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced that Healthspan Elite would be the All Blacks' first official sports nutrition, sports protein and vitamins and supplements partner for the following four years.
Healthspan Elite has been supplementing the All Blacks' health and performance since 2015, and the two long-term partners have now chosen to make their relationship official.
"The high daily physical demands experienced by elite-level rugby players such as the All Blacks often makes it difficult for players to eat enough or meet their individual needs for specific nutrients," said All Blacks Nutritionist Kat Darry. "To have the support of specific supplements from Healthspan Elite, which can be utilised when a player's needs are greater than what they can meet from our food-first approach, is important."
Chris Fisher, Healthspan Sales & Marketing Director, had this to add: "For several years, we've been supporting the All Blacks with our Elite supplements to aid their health and performance. Healthspan is honoured to have been chosen as the All Blacks' first ever supplement partner. As leaders in our respective fields, the potential for us to collaborate on ground-breaking initiatives that bring this partnership to life is something very exciting."
History of the All Blacks
Having won 77 per cent of their 580 matches between 1903 and 2019, New Zealand's All Blacks are the most successful international men's rugby team of all time.
The All Blacks have won the Rugby World Cup three times (1987, 2011 and 2015), have won 10 of 16 Investec Rugby Championship trophies and have held the Bledisloe Cup (played between New Zealand and Australia) for 17 years.
The first New Zealand team was selected for a tour to New South Wales in Australia in 1884. They went on to record eight wins in eight matches in Australia and members of this team have been recognised as the very first All Blacks.
Between 1888 and 1889 The Natives played 107 matches in a marathon tour of New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Although they were not All Blacks, they were the first team to wear an all-black jersey and did a great deal to raise the profile of New Zealand rugby.
The silver fern
The silver fern Cyathea dealbata is a species of fern tree found only in NZ. It has been worn as an emblem by New Zealand's national rugby teams since 1888 and first appeared on the All Blacks' jerseys during their 1905 tour. The All Blacks silver fern logo changed many times until 1986, when the current logo was created and trademarked.
The silver fern is so called because the undersides of the fronds are silver or white – these reflect the moonlight, making them useful for navigating the NZ bush at night. To Māori, the fern is known for strength and resilience, while to Pākehā (New Zealanders of non-Māori descent) it symbolises their sense of attachment to their homeland.
Most people associate haka (pronounced haa-kah) with the All Blacks, but there are many variations of this Māori ceremonial dance or challenge. In Māori culture, haka was traditionally performed to express a feeling or strong emotion. This included when groups opposed each other in times of battle, but haka was also performed during times of peace, such as tribal celebrations.
Ka mate, Ka mate – the original All Black haka – was composed by Māori Rangatira (chief) Te Rauparaha of te Ngāti Toa Rangatira tribe. This haka has been used by the All Blacks since 1905, but in 2005 a new haka, Kapa o Pango, was introduced, written especially for the All Blacks by Derek Lardelli.
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