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Stay Strong

I love a good movie.  Especially one that makes me cry.

Maybe it’s the female in me that loves a reason to get in touch with my sensitive side, especially when there is a redeeming message interwoven through out the film.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the movie “Courageous.”     This weekend, we pulled out another DVD to watch that I have seen many times, but I also love.  It is called “Forever Strong.”              

Forever Strong is based on a compilation of true life experiences within the Highland High School Rugby Team in Salt Lake City. Here is a little background on the success of this team.

Highland Rugby has gone on to a famous record, having the Utah State Championship every year between 1976 and 2011 and winning 20 of 27 USA Rugby National Championships contested between 1985 and 2011, with six runner-up national champions and one third-place finish. In 1998, it competed in the first World School Boys Championship in Harare, Zimbabwe. It was the only team from the Western Hemisphere to qualify for the tournament and finished third. Highland Rugby has competed all across the United States and in many countries throughout the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Zimbabwe.  — A brief history of Highland Rugby found on

Although this film is based off of experience with the team, it is not really a sports movie. It about honesty, integrity, values and respect for the team and family.  It’s about growth and redemption, and the ultimate value of real hard work, in knowing that you are working for something bigger than yourself.

It is based on the experience of a young man from Flagstaff, Arizona, who was sent to a group home in Salt Lake City.

In the movie he is portrayed as Rick Penning, a young man sent to a detention center in Salt Lake City, after his second DUI. Thanks to the compassion of the center’s manager, Marcus, he is encouraged to play rugby for Highland, mostly because of the positive influence that Marcus knows that Coach Gelwix could be for him.

Based on the winning record shown above, this coach obviously knows what he is doing in the sport, but what is more important, his real goal was to build boys to be good men of character.

Some of his teachings were in the sayings that he repeated to them.

Kia Kaha”  which is Maori for “Stay Strong.”

The longer version is

Be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field”

Another saying from this movie that I have seen posted in places to help serve as a reminder to people that are trying to do better with their lives is this

I will do nothing to embarrass myself, my family or my team

I think it is wonderful that there is a level of personal responsibility taught in this film, but also that loyalty to team and family are also a part of success.  The camaraderie that is developed because of that, is what keeps them strong and successful.  It’s not just a lesson about teamwork, but also for building strong families.

If you are looking for a way to influence and inspire your family, this in another film that I would recommend having on DVD in your home. You can purchase it now by clicking the link below.   — Laura

I also recommend the movie Courageous.  This is a steal of a price right now, and I would recommend getting both movies together, with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

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