Player John Kirwan

jonno

jonno

Kirwan knighted for health work

Wynne Gray
4 Jun, 2012 05:30 AM3 mins to read
John Kirwan. Photo / Getty Images

John Kirwan. Photo / Getty Images

When John Kirwan sat down to dinner with his family and asked for their thoughts about him receiving a knighthood, his younger son, Luca, cut straight to the important bit.

"Does this make me a prince and do I get free stuff?" the 12 year-old asked.

That comment broke the ice and ended any uncertainty the 47-year-old All Black great-turned-international coach and mental health spokesman had about accepting the honour.

He is one of four new knights in today's Queen's Birthday honours. The others are former Telecom chief executive and chairman Roderick Deane, former Labour finance minister Michael Cullen and top public servant Maarten Wevers.

Three new dames are created - Maori educator and advocate June Mariu, Fashion Week director Pieter Stewart and Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem.

The honours list also recognises many other well-known New Zealanders, including All Black World Cup coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith and Academy Award winner Bret McKenzie.

"This can go up next to the Oscar, which is currently next to the nappy cream on top of the piano," McKenzie said.

Sir John Kirwan's wife, Fiorella, knew little of the implications but when he explained the title was largely for his work in mental health, the family understood.

After his battles with depression, Sir John became a spokesman and campaigner in New Zealand for mental health issues. He made his problems public to encourage other people to seek help.

"I remember the day they asked me to do the awareness campaign. It was the hardest thing I ever considered," Sir John said.

"My philosophy all the way through about mental health is that if I can help one person, it will be great.

"If you ask me what is depression, it is the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. But my whole journey has been positive.

"There were scary times because of the stigma attached to depression, but I have tried to break those down because it is an illness, not a weakness."

When he was asked to accept the knighthood, Sir John requested 24 hours to think about it. He wondered what people would think and whether it was appropriate.

In the end, the 63-test All Black accepted it for his work outside his sporting sphere.

"It seems like all this is a long way from Mangere," said Sir John of his upbringing, his time at De La Salle College and his butcher's apprentice beginning.

"Mum's still alive and Dad would also have been really proud, though I can just imagine him telling me something like, 'Don't get too big-headed, boy.'

"I've accepted the award on behalf of all those people who are suffering, to show there is hope. My main message is that there is always hope, there is always help, there is always a way out of the troubles."

Sir John has lived in Europe for the past 10 years, and has coached Italy and Japan.

He coached the Barbarians in three tests against England, Ireland, and then Wales yesterday in Cardiff, and is looking for his next appointment.

His target is the Blues, in Auckland.

He has spoken several times to the Herald about his interest in coaching a Super 15 team as a pathway to his ultimate target of making the All Black panel.

He said he would apply this week for the Blues job, which is being advertised after incumbent Pat Lam's lack of success.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Since95
jonno

jonno

In 2012, with pat lam, they finished 12,

JK's years they were 10,10, and 14th.

Now they are currently 11th out of 18.

So it's not the coach that's the problem with that team. Sounds familiar.

And when JK played for us he was another of these thirty year old wingers with a huge rep and nothing left on the field... Also sounds familiar.


But he did learn how to cure his post Warriors depression and got his life back on track.
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Depression is no joke. JK has saved lives with his work. To put it in perspective as bad as the Warriors are now, that is nothing like depression, nothing at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: matiunz and jonno
jonno

jonno

Stick to the Warriors mate. JK got fired last year and now Tana Umaga is coaching them lol...
Arr the next Auckland coach on the chopping block...

But depression is a Warriors topic, with Manu struggling. So I thought it'd be a good conversation to bring in an ex Warrior who's been at the forefront of this battle...
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce
bruce

bruce

Contributor
Arr the next Auckland coach on the chopping block...

But depression is a Warriors topic, with Manu struggling. So I thought it'd be a good conversation to bring in an ex Warrior who's been at the forefront of this battle...
From the sounds of it Kieran Foran suffers from it really badly. $75k in an afternoon at the TAB sounds serious. The last thing these people need is easy access to painkillers. The relief they would get would be very pleasant but the long terms effects are not.
 
snake77

snake77

I needed them when he was playing for us. The only thing I can remember him doing in a Warriors jersey was preventing a ball finding touch from an opposition penalty... nothing else, just that.
I always thought he used to go into the tackles like he was going to get broken in half.

Watching the 20 year celebration games that were on Sky last year there was a game against the Eels. Quite a few times he failed to run onto the ball and knocked it on and fell to his stomach and went into a "I'm so embarrassed pose". That happened quite often and he was probably lucky the opposition didn't pick up the ball and run off and score. I can't remember him ever doing that in union so it was quite comical.
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Contributor
22. JOHN KIRWAN
Last update

Kirwan was the Auckland Blues coach during our last update but since being let go he is working mostly on mental health but also does commentary for SKY TV and helps run a family business importing Italian wines.

Kirwan works with mental health on two fronts. First is his company GROOV which works with workplace mental health.

John Kirwan
Screenshot 2022 10 27 104624 PM

Sir John Kirwan, or JK as we know him, is a globally recognised mental health advocate, author, entrepreneur, and a rugby legend. He's the co-founder of Groov, a leading workplace wellbeing platform. Groov's mission is to improve the wellbeing of 100 million people and save 100,000 lives. Groov bakes wellbeing into the DNA of a workplace and supports people to feel good and function well.

In 2012, JK was knighted for his services to mental health – an honour he strives to live up to every day. He’s long been at the forefront of public campaigns about mental wellbeing. JK began sharing his personal story of depression at a time when there was a lot of stigma. His vulnerability paves the way for people to talk about their own experiences.

Many people also know JK as a sporting legend. He played 63 test matches for the All Blacks from 1984 to 1994 and was part of the winning 1987 Rugby World Cup team. He also played for the Warriors and had success as a rugby coach, including on the international stage with Italy and Japan.

JK is a family man who likes nothing better than to surf, cook, and make a perfect cup of coffee. He lives in Auckland with his wife, Fiorella. They have three children, now grown and pursuing their dreams throughout the world.


Heres some of what they do.

Welcome to Embed by Groov​

The experts at Groov developed Embed to successfully bake a culture of wellbeing into workplaces. Embed is an evidence-based approach that focuses on action and behaviour change.

The tailored programme includes six key elements that target all levels of an organisation. Together they create a blueprint for lasting, sustained change.

Embed empowers everyone to play a role in creating a wellbeing culture that sticks, instead of just relying on the HR lead or wellbeing manager.

Lift your workplace into the new era of wellbeing with Embed.


The front he works on is the John Kirwan Foundation. Heres what they do.

Screenshot 2022 10 27 105107 PM

Mitey is our response to the alarming number of children experiencing mental health issues in New Zealand. One in five will experience mental health issues before they turn 18.

Even those who are otherwise happy, will need skills and knowledge to successfully deal with pressures related to peers, family, relationships, and their place in the world.

At the Foundation we believe that embedding mental health education in both teaching and learning will play a key part in turning our mental health statistics around.

We want to ensure schools have the resources and support they need to equip future generations of New Zealanders with the ability to safeguard and nurture their own mental wellbeing while helping others do the same.


Most will know that Kirwan has been a regular guest on SKY TV as a rugby pundit. A role he has had since 2016.

Sir John Kirwan joins Sky Sports rugby team

08:22, May 11 2016​

Sir John Kirwan is the latest former All Black to join SkySport's rugby team.

Sir John Kirwan is the latest former All Black to join SkySport's rugby team.

Beleaguered former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan says he's looking forward to a new challenge as he joins Sky Sport's rugby presentation team.

Working alongside the likes of Jeff Wilson, Justin Marshall and Ian Jones, Sir John will be on the panel for live Super Rugby matches and New Zealand-based Rugby Championship games, as well as the upcoming three-test series between the All Blacks and Wales.

"I've been out of the game for six months now, so I'm looking forward to getting back in and having a bit of a banter with some of the older players," says Sir John. "I'm sort of a generation detached from Marshy and Jeff and that, but I know them pretty well. Kamo's more my era. And Pod Turner, so there's a few around that are from my era. It'll be good fun."

Sir John Kirwan says he'd love his Sky Sports role to branch out to include the pay TV broadcaster's league coverage.

Sir John Kirwan says he'd love his Sky Sports role to branch out to include the pay TV broadcaster's league coverage.

Following his resignation from the Blues in June last year, Sir John spent time at the Rugby World Cup, during which he was part of the Sky Sport Italy rugby team, with whom he has been working for the last decade.

"Since the Blues, I've been at the World Cup, so I spent the whole of the World Cup over there. I was mainly based in Milan and I'd go across for the odd weekend. I had a really fantastic final. I was with Alessandro Del Piero, who's one of the Italians' biggest soccer players, and he loves rugby, so he did comments with me during the World Cup, which was outstanding.

Sir John Kirwan played 63 times for the All Blacks between 1984 and 1994.

Sir John Kirwan played 63 times for the All Blacks between 1984 and 1994.

"I'm part of the Sky rugby team in Italy, and I'm still doing a little bit. I've got a Super Rugby TV programme on Italian television every Tuesday night. Sky Sport New Zealand is new, but I've been doing Sky Sport Italy for probably the last 10 years."

Working for the Sky Sport New Zealand rugby team might be new for Sir John, but he's already keen to expand his presenting role into the other oval-ball game – if they'll have him that is.

"I'd love too!" he enthuses, when asked if Sky Sport might ever get him to do a bit of rugby league presenting as well. "The Warriors are my team! I grew up around rugby league, my father was a leaguey and the Mad Butcher's one of my best mates. I played for the Warriors for two years, absolutely loved it, and I'm a very keen Warriors fan, so if they were nice enough to invite me I'd love to. Obviously the Warriors are having a bit of a hard time at the moment, but hopefully they'll bounce back and win a couple and get back into contention for the top eight."

Warriors aside, Sir John says he's obviously still following his other favourite team quite closely too.

"At the end of the day, I'm still a really proud Aucklander, and the Blues are my team. I think they've had a good win away, they got the monkey off their back last week, and I've seen them making good improvements so I think they'll slowly get better – I think Tana's doing a good job."


Kirwan is also a Westpac ambassador along with Ritchie McCaw, Sophie Pascoe and Willie Apiata.

Screenshot 2022 10 27 110019 PM


And finally we get to the family business called JK14 Wines

Screenshot 2022 10 27 110725 PM

Our story​


I’ve been having a love affair in Italy, and so far it’s lasted 30 years. It’s okay, my wife knows all about it, and she understands. After all, she loves Treviso as much as I do, since she was born there.

Treviso is unbelievable. The region is like a compact sampler of all that is the best of Italy. My first visit, I remember thinking, “This is a far cry from dad’s butchery back in Mangere.”

Climbing the hill near our house, I could look across and see the homes of bright Pinot Grigios, full Merlots, and Proseccos that make Champagne seem dull.

I want to share what I found with my friends and family back here in NZ… and hey, anyone else who wants a taste of something special. I hope you fall in love with Treviso as much as I have.

John Kirwan


[PARSEHTML]
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/164926446?h=cc48f2b7d5" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/164926446">JK14</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user51737285">JK14 Wines</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
[/PARSEHTML]
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
If nothing else JK has contributed massively to the mental health situation in NZ.
 

Similar threads

mt.wellington
  • Showcase: Item
Replies
18
Views
634
bruce
bruce
playdaball
Replies
1
Views
2K
Hardyman's Yugo
Hardyman's Yugo
snake77
Replies
27
Views
1K
snake77
snake77
Stylez Davis
Replies
98
Views
9K
bruce
bruce
  • Showcase: Item
2
Replies
27
Views
3K
mt.wellington
mt.wellington