Magpies give $16,813 to Hawke's Bay's Rural Support Trust from jersey sales

As well as winning the championship and gaining promotion, the Magpies have topped off the season by donating thousands of dollars to Hawke's Bay's rural community.

The East Coast Rural Support Trust was provided with $16,813.75 from the proceeds of the Hawke's Bay team's non-traditional playing jerseys - which were bid on and limited edition replicas sold.

The Magpies ran out in the non-traditional jersey on September 26 in support of the region's rural community, who were experiencing the worst drought in memory.

A last-minute try by prop Jason Long resulted in the Bay's first win against Canterbury in 38 years in the classic farmers' checked shirts.

This donation was made possible with the support of Total Oil NZ, who purchased the set of playing jerseys so that proceeds could be maximised and passed on to local farmers.

Total Oil chief executive Reuben Thickpenny said they jumped at the opportunity to support the local community.

"Our head office is located in the Bay, as are 25 of our staff, and we have all seen the effects of the drought," he said.

"I am really proud to have been able to be part of the rural jerseys initiative and the Magpies in general."

Hawke's Bay Rugby Union commercial manager Dan Somerville said they didn't want to stray too far from the Magpies identity when designing the kit.

"We were cautious about producing a Magpies jersey different to the traditional black and white hoop design," he said.

"But it was very important for the HBRU and Magpies to support our rural community, who have given rugby so much over the years."

Somerville said the jerseys were snapped up quickly.

"The Magpies beating Canterbury wearing them just topped it off." he added, "Those lucky enough to have won the bidding on the playing jerseys will have something very special to hang on their walls for years to come."

East Coast Rural Support Trust's Mike Barham said the trust is very grateful for the significant donation.

"We work with farmers to help find solutions to minimise losses, restore confidence and facilitate rehabilitation," he said.

"This will go directly to supporting our vital work with our farming community."

The HBRU is considering adopting a non-traditional jersey for games in future seasons in support of a local charity or community group.

Article:  Louise Gould

Article added: Tuesday 15 December 2020


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