Wednesday 29 February 2012 | Published in Regional
Rugby clubs in Rarotonga and Aitutaki will receive brand new rugby balls and jerseys thanks to the Air New Zealand Golden Oldies Rugby events marketing team and the Canterbury Rugby Club.
More than 60 rugby balls branded with the Air New Zealand Golden Oldies logo have been donated to the Cook Islands Rugby Union and these will be distributed to the clubs across Rarotonga.
Former Air New Zealand Cook Islands manager Gerald Wilson sourced a full kit of rugby gear from the Canterbury Rugby Club which is destined for the Arenikau Rugby Club on Aitutaki who traditional wear black and red colours of Canterbury.
The jerseys donated to the Arenikau club on Aitutaki also reflect the brotherly relationship the outer island has with the Canterbury region in the South Island of New Zealand.
When Cyclone Pat devastated the island of Aitutaki in 2010, New Zealand, and in particular the people of Christchurch, responded with cash donations and experts to help rebuild the infrastructure on the island.
When the city of Christchurch was widely damaged by earthquakes a year ago, the island of Aitutaki rallied together and through a radio-thon raised $25,000 for their Kiwi brothers and sisters.
Cook Islands Rugby Union chief executive officer Ben Koteka is thrilled to have the rugby balls and jerseys donated before the start of the 2012 rugby season on June 2.
Air New Zealand waived the fees for shipping the donated goods to the Cook Islands.
“We always appreciate the support that the Cook Islands provide to Golden Oldies rugby and so if you can use these balls whether it be for golden oldies, age grade or school rugby – we are happy to get these up to you,” says Air New Zealand events manager Keith Robinson.
The donated rugby balls were left over from the Golden Oldies Rugby Festival in 2010 hosted by Sydney.