Kiwi team ‘adopts’ drought-stricken town
A NEW Zealand rugby league team have announced they are 'adopting' an Australian town for the coming 2020 season.
Vodafone Warriors' CEO Cameron George said the team have 'adopted' the northern NSW town of Tenterfield, one of many communities suffering acutely after being ravaged by drought and bushfires.
Mr George and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty announced as part of the new partnership a range of initiatives and events will be held to 'lift spirits' among people in the area.
"We feel deeply for the New South Wales communities that have suffered such extreme hardship lately," Mr George said.
"They're really hurting, including in Tenterfield, where the community has demonstrated such resilience through ongoing drought and recent bushfire events."
Mr George said while there area number of relief efforts across the state, the team wanted to "take it to another level by reaching out and adopting a town like Tenterfield".
"We see this as giving us a chance of forming a meaningful relationship and doing what we can to lift spirits of the people there," Mr George said.
"If we can help in some small way that will be tremendous."
Mr Petty said he was "humbled by the way the Warriors had extended the hand of friendship".
"This is an incredible opportunity for Tenterfield," he said.
"We are all excited to partner and connect with such a high-profile team, who are genuinely keen to support and encourage our communities. This relationship will empower our local youth and sporting groups and provide the whole community with a much-needed boost."
The pair said the relationship will feature a number of events in 2020 enabling the Warriors to connect with and boost spirits among the people in Tenterfield.
Mr Petty said "plans are afoot" for the Warriors to have a presence at the annual Tenterfield Show in early February while club representatives will also visit the town to support both the Tenterfield Tigers seniors and juniors next season.
He said it is expected the trip will include visits to schools in the area. Also scheduled is an appearance by Warriors representatives at a mayor's business and sports dinner to raise funds for all sports in Tenterfield.
"Ultimately our goal is to inspire, engage with and encourage a wonderful community which has shown incredible resilience in the face of enormous adversity in recent years," Mr George said.
"Rugby league can be the greatest friend of all for people when times are tough.
"We just want to give folk in Tenterfield a little joy and would encourage other NRL clubs to do the same."