Whipping up World Cup spirit
Porirua will be decked out in support of the Rugby World Cup, and hopefully the air will be buzzing, one city stalwart says.
Canopy Connection manager Eric Jones was visiting retailers last week with strings of bunting to hang in shop windows.
So far, about 30 businesses had asked for the packs of mini-flags, representing all 20 countries taking part, he said.
‘‘Hopefully with all the events, the local community gets into the spirit of things.
‘‘The only thing I could possibly compare it to is the sevens, where the atmosphere is just amazing, and I would hope that same atmosphere would be part of the World Cup in Porirua.
‘‘The retailers are getting behind it, trying to create an atmosphere, and they are doing their best, putting up heaps of banners and running heaps of events.’’
Events like the Real Porirua Festival and open training sessions to see visiting teams up close would give fans a way to join in the celebrations, and hopefully attract visitors to Porirua, he said.
‘‘ They may attract domestic visitors or international visitors that are either staying in Wellington for cup events or passing through to go to other locations.
‘‘I’m very hopeful that we may get some spinoffs. We did when the Lions tour came.
‘‘The hotel industry, in terms of accommodation, did quite well out of it, and the World Cup is bringing far more numbers than the Lions tour.’’
It is time to dust off All Black supporters gear and start wearing it around town, Mr Jones says.
‘‘An event like this creates a feeling where everybody’s very, very friendly and happy, and that creates camaraderie, and . . . you don’t have to be a mad fan to enjoy the atmosphere and go along for the ride. You can expect people to get behind it, and certainly the tourism and hospitality industry will be doing something.
‘‘Regionally, I think everybody’s done well. It’s good to see us working collectively to promote what the area has to offer, and promote local attractions and sites, food and culture,’’ he says.
Rugby World Cup flags were tied to lamp-posts on the city’s central streets last week.
They cost the city $11 each, being largely subsidised by the Rugby World Cup ($40 per flag).
True colours: Canopy Connection manager Eric Jones says Porirua will be buzzing with Rugby World Cup fever, and he is distributing bunting to businesses to help build up the spirit.