Richie McCaw Still ‘Flying High’ in his Rugby Retirement

Richie McCaw Still 'Flying High' in his Rugby Retirement
KAIKOURA, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 19: Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw hands the Commonwealth Games Queen's baton to children at a Queens Baton Relay event on December 19, 2017 in Kaikoura, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images for NZOC)

After announcing his retirement from International rugby in 2016, Richie McCaw has seen much change. Gone is the daily routine of training and a singular concentration on the game. Now McCaw is both a new husband, and in demand for more inspiring purposes.

Only this week, Richie McCaw and his wife Gemma were handed the responsibility of transporting the 2018 Commonwealth Games baton. Their ambassadorial role is vastly different from eithers position on the field; McCaw as a flanker, or Gemma McCaw [nee Flynn] who was an International hockey player.

What was clear though was the enjoyment both gained from their positions. Bringing the Queens baton to the township of Kaikoura–where a devastating earthquake had occurred in late 2016–on it’s year long relay around the nations of the Commonwealth.

The smiles and feeling of pride that the towns people felt when the official baton arrived via helicopter, was clear to see. Children and adults each enjoying the attention, as well as being in awe of the hosts.

A much more slender McCaw, who is not in ‘rugby condition’ and is now often seen in long distance endurance events. GodZone and the Coast-to-Coast mountain run are now his favoured activities, as well as the odd game of touch.

Richie McCaw Still ‘Flying High’ in his Rugby Retirement

McCaw has always had a passion for flying. For years he was an avid glider, and more recently attained his professional helicopter pilots license. In that role, he became a shareholder in a Christchurch helicopter business, and has been both privately and publicly fling helicopters.

He must find it very fulfilling, and full of variety. His profile means that any flight may see him gaining attention–sometimes not unwanted–but other times, he is proud to offer his services.

He on occasion is part of emergency services in Canterbury. The Christchurch helicopter operation was a major part of the Rural Fire Service’s role during the Port Hills bush fires. Piloting a helicopter, to douse flames which threatened neighbouring properties. The former-All Blacks captain was happy to play his part in the dangerous operations, as well as varied roles that are often mentioned in both mainstream and sports media in New Zealand.

As well, McCaw is often seen offering his services for charities and to foundations. His charity work is not just limited to rugby-related projects either. Cure Kids is close to his heart, as is iSport Foundation.

Richie McCaw and his wife Gemma are in demand, and their involvement in the Queens baton relay was an example of the new role that he is playing, in his rugby-retirement.

World Rugby to Celebrate Richie McCaw on December 25

In a soon to be broadcast special, World Rugby look to use McCaw’s reputation in a positive manner. Still an inspiration to current and future rugby players, the December 25 premier will surely be of interest to many.

While the focus may be on that fortuitous day in October 2015, Richie McCaw is stamping his mark on a new role. Primarily as husband, but also as a committed helicopter pilot. His ‘day job’ which may see him as your flight officer (if you were to hire the chopper) but also as a leader in the community.

That position see’s much of the experience he gained within New Zealand Rugby being put to good effort. By highlighting charities that himself and his partner believe in, as well as sports-related situations [like the Commonwealth Games baton relay] it allows him to use his position of influence, to better the community and to ‘pay it back’ from the support he gained over his career wearing All Black.

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