Friends share prize win

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

Te Waikaukau and Milly Mar­shall-Kirk­wood are great friends, and like many 10-yearold girls, their friend­ship in­volves lots of hang­ing out to­gether, watch­ing each other play sport and cheer­ing each other on.

So when Te Waikaukau saw a com­pe­ti­tion on The Hits Taranaki Face­book page giv­ing a lucky win­ner the chance to lead the Taranaki Bulls on to the pitch at the start of their home game, she im­me­di­ately knew if she won, she would want to in­clude Milly as well.

En­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, Te Waikaukau wrote, “I would love to lead out the Bulls with my friend Milly who has Mar­fan syn­drome. She is very tall (like a gi­raffe) and spends a lot of time us­ing a wheel­chair. If we got the priv­i­lege to run out with the team, it would be the best.”

Emma Helleur, The Hits Taranaki day an­nouncer, says while the com­pe­ti­tion was for one child to go on to the pitch, Te Waikaukau’s en­try was hard to ig­nore.

“So we talked to the Taranaki Rugby Foot­ball Union about it, and they agreed we could have both girls come out and lead the team on to the pitch for the very last home game of the sea­son.”

Be­fore school broke up for the hol­i­days, Emma paid a sur­prise visit to the girls at Nor­folk School.

When she ex­plained why she was there, the class­room erupted with cheers for the two girls, who were thrilled to be cho­sen.

“I love watch­ing the rugby on tele­vi­sion but I’ve never been to a live game be­fore.”

Te Waikaukau says she loves watch­ing rugby, and was ex­cited to be go­ing to watch the game live.

Milly also has not been to a live game be­fore, and is look­ing for­ward to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Both girls are keen sportswomen, with Te Waikaukau play­ing net­ball, rugby and rugby league as well as swim­ming, while Milly plays wheel­chair bas­ket­ball, net­ball and swim­ming. Last week­end, Milly was one of the com­peti­tors at the Hal­berg Games in Auck­land.

Both girls say their friend­ship is based on lots of mu­tual in­ter­ests such as sport, as well as sim­i­lar senses of hu­mour.

Milly says Te Waikaukau is kind and funny, and Te Waikaukau says Milly is very car­ing.

While Milly’s mum de­scribes them as “good lit­tle bud­dies”, Te Waikaukau’s mum is blunter.

“They’re thick as thieves those two. Don’t be fooled by them, they’re al­ways up to some mis­chief to­gether.”

Te Waikaukau and Milly Mar­shall-Kirk­wood will be lead­ing the Taranaki Bulls out on to the pitch this Fri­day.

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