Chiefs Chip in for Fiji
Shipping container en route to help cyclone victims
Ashipping container fi lled with donated goods from the Waikato will soon head to Fiji to help those affected by Cyclone Winston this year. The idea came from Gallagher Group, sponsor of the Chiefs rugby team. The company asked the Chiefs if they would be interested in helping out, and the team agreed.
Gallagher corporate services executive Margaret Comer saw the impact of both Cyclone Winston in February and Cyclone Zena in April.
“Fijians are passionate Chiefs supporters, so we wondered if we could somehow collaborate and send a container of goodies,”she said.
“It started off with just rugby balls and sports equipment, but it got bigger and just grew.”
“School kids are donating pencils, colouring pens, writing paper, rubbers and sharpeners and schools have been collecting rugby boots and balls.”
And it’s not just a container on its way - the Chiefs set to play their first international Super Rugby game against the Crusaders, on July 1 in Suva.
It is only the second time it has been done, with the first back in 2011 where the Crusaders played the Sharks at Twickenham Stadium in London. The match was moved to Twickenham because of the Christchurch earthquake, with proceeds of the game donated to the relief effort there.
Last Friday, Fijian-born Chiefs Seta Tamanivalu and Michael Leitch, along with Hika Elliott, were at Gallagher head office helping to pack the donated goods into the shipping container.
Leitch, who is half Fijian on his mother’s side, said organising rugby games between Kiwi Super Rugby teams outside New Zealand should be done more often to showcase the sport internationally. Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman said the game has been months in the making.
“It’s great to get it off the ground, a wonderful event for Super Rugby but also for the people of Fiji. The shipping container will set sail on May 16 and will take five days to reach Fiji.
Fijians are passionate Chiefs supporters, so we wondered if we could somehow collaborate and send a container of goodies. Margaret Comer Gallagher corporate services executive