dtr, the Vodafone Warriors & Greymouth - February 2011

Alice Buchanan February 16, 2011 : 0

We recently had the honour of attending the Warriors fundraising game with the Newcastle Knights in Greymouth. The game raised funds for the Pike River Mining Fund and West Coast Rugby League and as a sponsor of the Vodafone Warriors, we wanted to play our part. We bought 330 tickets for our customers, who were sent letters a week before the event. Within a few days, our Greymouth store manager, Joel Thomson, had been inundated with requests for tickets. It certainly went down well with the community.

As the team was tied up with other commitments we weren’t able to get any of the players in-store, but the work they did do around town with school visits and training camps for the youngsters still has the town raving. Almost everyone in town on the Saturday was wearing a Vodafone Warriors jersey.

The staff from the branch were invited to the charity dinner and awards night prior to game day. The girls from the store were certainly pretty pleased to get to meet some of the players!

The awards part of the night was a real buzz. New Zealand Rugby League issued a set of numbered dog tags to all Kiwi players past and present to signify that a game of league is like going to war and you put in 100% effort in, for the teammate standing next to you. So, at the dinner all the local West Coast legends of the league world were honoured and presented with their tags. There have been many Kiwi jerseys worn by the coalminers of our Greymouth so to see them recognised was awesome.

The one that stood out for me was George Menzies, From the Runanga on the West Coast (“The Home of Champions”), Menzies played twenty nine games for the New Zealand Kiwis and participated in three World Cups. At the end of his test career he became a player-coach for a New South Wales team. In 1974 and 1975 he was the coach of the Kiwis, taking the team to the 1975 World Cup. Menzies was named one of the “Legends of League” in 1995. In 2009 Menzies was named in the NZRL’s team of the century.

The atmosphere at the game itself was awesome. Wingham Park was beyond its capacity 5,500 people packed on embankments built that week to fit in the extra crowd. A 22-all draw a fitting way to end a charity event like this. All in all, it was a special couple of days and we were honoured to take part and give a little back.

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