A Queenstown rugby team will become the first in New Zealand to sport a pink playing strip this season in a fundraising drive for breast cancer.
The Rilean Construction Wakatipu Premiers team will wear bright pink shirts, shorts and socks in all home games at Queenstown’s Recreation Ground to raise money for their official 2010 charity, The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF).
And naming rights sponsor Rilean Construction is so taken with the initiative it has decided to throw its weight behind the campaign by ‘pink wrapping’ its local construction sites before each home game to raise awareness even further.
Wakatipu Rugby Club President Damien O’Connell is delighted with Rilean Construction’s full support of its ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign and hopes the local community will get behind it too.
“The idea to support breast cancer by wearing pink came from Jeremy Drake, one of our club players, and we thought it was fantastic. It’s a cause that’s really close to our hearts because a lot of us have had friends or family with breast cancer. And it’s not only women who get it - one in nine New Zealanders are affected by breast cancer and surprisingly 30 men per year in New Zealand are diagnosed with it.
“It’s a terrible disease and we want to do what we can to help raise money and awareness.
“Real men shouldn’t be afraid to wear hot pink as an eye-catching way of making a statement.”
Other ‘pink’ fundraising initiatives the club will undertake during the season include:
· A $1 a point sponsor board that runs throughout the season – the team is hoping to secure a number of sponsors around Queenstown
· A public collection both at the bar and through the crowd during the Wakatipu Rugby Club curtain raiser at the Super 14 game (10 April, Queenstown Events Centre)
· Auctioning a pink jersey signed by the 2010 All Blacks squad
· Auctioning signed team jerseys at the Q92 MORE FM annual rugby/netball end of season awards dinner
At the end of the season a giant cheque will be presented to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation showing the total funds raised.
Heather Shotter, Executive Trustee of The NZBCF, is delighted the Rilean Construction Wakatipu Premiers chose The Foundation to be the official charity for the 2010 rugby season.
“We are very excited to have this association as it provides a valuable opportunity for us to talk to the wider community about breast cancer. If this team is lucky enough not to be one of the 30 men diagnosed with breast cancer annually, it’s highly likely that they may be affected as a husband, brother, son or father of one of the 2600 New Zealand women who present with this disease every year. The funds raised play a vital role insuring we can expand our programmes so that more New Zealand women and men will benefit.”
For more information about the Wakatipu Rugby Club or how to become a $1 a point sponsor please contact Damien O’Connell on 0274 735 474 or visit www.wakatipurugby.co.nz.
For more information about The New Zealand Breast Cancer Association please visit www.nzbcf.org.nz.