New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji
New Zealand donates rugby gear
New Zealand High Commission held a ceremony at the New Zealand Residence on 17th June to launch the distribution of rugby gear to isolated rural schools and women’s rugby.
The rugby gear has been generously donated by Dunedin-based Leslie Rugby, headed by former Otago, Highlanders and Scotland player John Leslie.
Acting Head of Mission, Mark Ramsden said the donation is an inspiring example of cooperation by New Zealand businesses to support and assist rugby in Fiji.
“Rugby is a vital linkage between New Zealand and Fiji. There are no two countries where rugby plays such an important part in our national identity. We are pleased to be involved in further strengthening this bond by helping remote schools with active rugby teams and women’s rugby,” said Mr Ramsden.
Among the 20 recipients are the Fiji Women’s Rugby Union and remote schools including the Yasawa Islands, Tailevu, Savusavu, Taveuni, Gau Island, Namosi, Rakiraki and Rotuma.
The rugby items include rugby shorts, vests, head gear, shoulder pads, rugby balls and ball pumps.
The High Commission also acknowledged the support of New Zealand-based shipping company Matson South Pacific Ltd in transporting the gear from New Zealand to Fiji. Former All Black Michael Jones is the company’s strategic development manager for the South Pacific and was instrumental in this exercise.
Pacifica Shipping, owned at the time by the Skeggs Group, which also manages the Port Denarau Marina, was also involved in transporting the gear from Dunedin to Auckland.
The High Commission is grateful for the partnership of Digicel Fiji in the distribution of the rugby gear to remote schools in Fiji.