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Sharks make big impact on Mauke

Friday 18 June 2010 | Published in Regional

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Papa Mau Raina, Rutaki Sharks’ team leader and manager, reckons their recent trip to Mauke was the best they’ve ever had.

They have been treated like kings, waking up each day to tea, food and as well as the wonderful hospitality and they’ve enjoyed becoming an active part of community events.

This is Mau’s third rugby trip to Mauke, having been once before with the Rutaki Sharks and once with the Mongoose.

Although golden oldies rugby is for players 35-years and over, younger boys were allowed to come because they turn up to training regularly and as Mau says, “who could push them away?”

As it turned out, Mauke’s golden oldies has a few youngies also.

On Friday, having just arrived on Mauke the team had to play sevens, followed by 15s. Mauke won the sevens and the Rutaki Sharks won the 15s.

Coach and assistant manager Henry Uripa had his boys training hard for this event, with some wanting to remind him that they weren’t playing the All Blacks.

Mauke have very much enjoyed Rutaki who have put body, soul and spirit into a weekend that won’t be forgotten.

Throughout the weekend they have provided fundraisers, with all money going to the Mauke’s Disability Group.

Disability Group Treasurer Aunty Tini Keu says she cannot thank Rutaki enough and, has made sure to say thank you at every opportunity, for them offering to support Mauke’s disabled by fundraising.

Tini says that funds are needed to tile Mauke's Creative Centre. With Teariki Rongo, who was in Mauke recently with the Vairakau group, arranging for the tiles to be paid for, Mauke is left to find one third of the cost $2700 to cover labour and other bits and pieces. So far this weekend, thanks to the Rutaki Sharks, $1029 has been raised and their time is not yet over. Any extra funds will help with the day-to-day costs of running the centre, which includes feeding participants.

Papa Mau says the Rutaki Sharks are pleased to be able to help.

They brought over their own string band which has been a big hit and the main fundraising event as they’ve played at both local bars on the Friday and Saturday night with the cover charge going to the disabled.

The Sharks also brought their own sheets, pillowcases and pillows which they will be donating to Mauke’s hospital for community use.

They’ve benefited the island where ever possible with donations to all the churches, purchasing from the local stores, donating balls to the school and Mauke’s golden oldies. Their jackets, linesman uniforms and flags will go to the rugby union, and they also brought with them some bolts of pareu material for the Sunrise Hall.

So all in all, it’s a well planned trip.