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CCEL and the Crusaders introduce Game On English to Brazilian rugby players

A special programme combining daily English language classes with high performance rugby training has been introduced to Brazilians this year

The programme delivers a life changing experience that helps young people to develop the skills necessary to reach their potential as athletes and individuals by building their self-confidence, and leadership and teamwork skills.

Students taking part in the Game On English – Elite Programme immerse themselves in the New Zealand ‘way of life’, using English to communicate in day-to-day situations including in homestay with a New Zealand family.

The first cohort of Brazilian players undertaking the programme started in March this year, and is due to finish at the end of July.

Brazilian player Bruno Araujo, 19, who has played for Brazil’s national U19 team and currently plays at Jacarei Rugby, shares his excitement in his own words: “Coming to the rugby nation sounded just perfect to me because I could: study and improve my English in a full immersion programme, which you can only get in an English speaking country; live in a developed country where it is safe, clean and people are so friendly and polite; stay in the Canterbury region, home of some of the top rugby players in NZ and in the world; get to travel through the amazing South Island of New Zealand, with its beautiful landscape, clear skies, the Southern Alps. I can’t think of a better place for this!”

Felipe Rosa, 19, who has played a number of offshore tests representing the Brazilian U19 national team against Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, currently plays at Sao Jose Rugby and is very impressed by the experience: “This is such a unique experience and I am so happy to be part of it. I am learning so much with my English teachers and the coaching team. I feel proud of being in New Zealand and training with the Crusaders. It is a fantastic team, they are so professional – it is easy to understand why they are one of the best rugby teams in the world.”

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Matheus Claudio, another one of Brazil’s U19 players, who is only 17 and also plays at Jacarei Rugby, is excited about the outcomes of the programme: “It is great to study with students from all over the world and at the same time train with a team that I have heard about and always see on TV. This is really a big inspiration and it only makes me feel more excited about my career in rugby”.

Felipe and Matheus are part of a scholarship programme supported by Brasil Rugby, Canterbury Rugby, CCEL and Christchurch Educated, and were officially selected by Brasil Rugby (Brazilian Rugby Union) due to their high performance on the field and their potential to become professional players. 

Game On English is available at two different levels:

Elite Programme: 1 to 5 months of intensive training for individuals or groups, combining English language tuition with full time training in a professional environment.

Group Programme: short term programme (usually 2 to 4 weeks) for groups from high schools, universities or local clubs interested in English language immersion, combined with tailor-made rugby skills training to suit their developmental stage in rugby.

Both programmes include 15 hours per week of English language tuition at CCEL and accommodation in New Zealand host families, allowing players to gain an in-depth understanding of the New Zealand culture and lifestyle whilst practising their English and receiving support from their Kiwi families.

Why Game On English in Canterbury?

• CCEL is the official English language provider for the University of Canterbury, and being on the university’s campus means its students can immerse themselves in university life.
• Canterbury is renowned for rugby and is home to the world famous Crusaders.
• With a history extending back to the 1880s, New Zealand's national rugby team,the All Blacks, is not only the most successful international rugby team of all time, but also one of the most successful teams in world sport.
• The All Blacks were crowned Rugby World Cup Champions in 2011, which added to their Webb Ellis Cup win in the inaugural Tournament in 1987.
• The Game On English programme is officially endorsed by the New Zealand government.
• New Zealand is a safe country with all homestay families assessed for suitability and monitored regularly.
• New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to learn and develop skills.
• Students can experience and learn about New Zealand’s rich and fascinating history, which includes a unique mix of Māori and European culture.

For more information about the Game On English programme, please contact us at


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