Pine Man is rugby ready
The Rugby World Cup kicks off in two days and the South Waikato will be a hive of activity to mark the occasion.
South Waikato District Council community development manager Amanda Hema said: ‘‘The whole event series is going to be fantastic – a real chance for the community to celebrate and join in the festivities.’’
Tokoroa’s iconic Pine Man has been dressed in black to support New Zealand.
‘‘Peter Dooley the sculptor and Tokoroa Rotary Club who commissioned the work gave us the go ahead to dress him and he looks fabulous. We have already had awesome feedback from the public about how great he looks.’’
There is also a Walk of Fame, Ms Hema said 25 All Black and international rugby players came from the South Waikato.
‘‘Businesses in the central business district were invited to take part in a Walk of Fame promotion,’’ she said,
Businesses jumped on board to adopt one or two local rugby stars and have a display in their shop windows.
‘‘Some people have been surprised that so many players have been associated with the district by either birth or lived here at some time in their lives (or indeed still live here). There are still family members living locally who have been so generous with their time and of course the memorabilia they have loaned us.’’
Friday also marks the launch of Involve 11.
‘‘Primary schools and pre-schools were invited to take part in a street parade representing the different nations participating in the Rugby World Cup,’’ she added that over 500 children would be involved.
The schools taking part include Amisfield Full Primary, David Henry, Bishop Edward Gaines, Tokoroa Central and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Hiringa.
The preschool aged children will come from Ata Marie, Te Awhi Mai, Ataahua, Tuarua o Tokoroa, David Henry Kindergarten, Samoa Taumafai Aoga Amata, St Luke’s Mokopuna and Tamariki Apii, St Mark’s, Te Ara Metua, The Ark, Te Rau Oriwa, Tokoroa Playcentre and Ra-Itu Koanga Reo.
The parade starts from New World carpark at 11am from where they will march down Bridge St to Leith Place where there will be a sausage sizzle and an opportunity to put their hands on a replica of the Webb Ellis trophy.
The large replica has been made out of plywood and the children will be able to put their hand prints (paint dipped) on the cup.
The finished cup will be on display throughout the central business district during the Involve Festival timeframe which is held from September 9-25.
Putaruru and Tirau also have their own replica of the cup in their towns.