Stratford Press

Bunnings boost for Inglewood club

Grant to be used for ugrading bathroom facilities for women

- Alyssa Smith

Inglewood United Rugby Football Club can upgrade their bathroom facilities thanks to Bunnings Warehouse. The Inglewood United RFC was one of 10 rugby clubs to receive $30,000 through the 2022 Bunnings Rugby Assist programme.

The programme was set up two years ago by Bunnings Warehouses in partnershi­p with New Zealand Rugby. The focus of the programme is uplifting women in rugby by building and upgrading club facilities to make rugby a more inclusive game for all.

Inglewood United RFC manager Pieta Kensington says the club is thankful for the money, which gives it the chance to upgrade its bathroom facilities to accommodat­e women.

“Bunnings Warehouse is a big supporter of women’s rugby and we’re appreciati­ve we received this money to support our women’s players.”

Pieta says she believes women’s rugby is the fastest-growing facet of the game.

“People have an amazing mindset when it comes to supporting our women’s players.”

TET Stadium trustee and committee

vice-chairman Kerry Austin says in his role, the aim is to grow the game.

“The club is 125 next year and we’ve had a women’s team for two years. It’s something we’ve been working towards for quite some time. We had the uniforms, kit, sponsors and all we needed lined up, it was just about finding the players.

Last year, our team started with 16 players and ended with 40. This year we have 35 in our squad. They compete in the Taranaki premier women’s rugby grade.”

He says the club has a strong family feel, and part of that is ensuring everyone is accommodat­ed.

“In order for people to feel comfy, we need to provide the facility that makes them comfy.” As well as benefiting the women’s team, Kerry says it will have a roll-on effect.

“The Taranaki Whio train here so it will benefit them and we are also starting a competitio­n for junior girl players.

“For us, they’re the future of the game. Facilities to accommodat­e all players will make it much more likely that they stay in the game.”

New Zealand Rugby general manager of community rugby Steve Lancaster is looking forward to seeing the positive impact the funding will have on women’s rugby and the wider community.

“It is great to see clubs across New Zealand are supportive of the women’s game. Grassroots rugby plays a vital role in growing the sport we love, and women’s rugby is an area of real growth.

“It is brilliant to have Bunnings supporting rugby across New Zealand with the Bunnings Rugby Assist fund, and I look forward to seeing the improvemen­ts made to each of the ten successful rugby clubs.”

Bunnings director for New Zealand Ben Camire says he wants to thank all the clubs that entered this year.

“Your support and commitment to grassroots rugby are what drives this sport in communitie­s throughout New Zealand. I’d also like to congratula­te the 10 clubs who have been selected. Our local store teams look forward to connecting and working closely with you to complete your projects and making a meaningful contributi­on to the wider community.”

Bunnings Rugby Assist ambassador Ruby Tui said she is blown away by the response from the rugby community and is excited to see how this support will drive the growth of women’s rugby further.

“Rugby clubs who missed out in 2022 will have another chance to apply for Bunnings Rugby Assist in 2023 with the applicatio­n process to be announced in due course.”

 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? The Inglewood women’s rugby team.
Photo / Supplied The Inglewood women’s rugby team.

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