Canterbury Rugby Union and its premier team have joined the nationwide call to get the Kiwis vaccinated against Covid-19.
The union and players have been giving away 1,000 double passes to this weekend’s Bunnings Warehouse NPC clash against table toppers Hawke’s Bay in Christchurch. Ryman Healthcare is proud to be a sponsor of the ticket giveaway.
The team rugby players, at today’s drive-in giveaway included Shilo Klien, Sam Darry and Jono Kitto.
Fijian and Canterbury player Manasa Mataele, also at the drive-in, said he hadn’t encountered resistance to the vaccination plans in the communities he was part of. He called out for others to follow his lead.
“I guess that’s one of the main reasons why I got vaccinated. I wanted to keep my family safe, and especially with other people around me as well – people that I love,” Manasa said.
“This is definitely a way you can get out of your bubble, travel round. There’s a lot of things opening up if you get vaccinated… I don’t want to be in my house 24/7 every day of the week.”
Thanks to the CRFU Ryman Healthcare partnership, tickets were being given to hundreds of people during today’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s vaccination pop-ups.
The initiative, dubbed “Vaccinate with a Mate”, fits in with the teamwork needed for the Canterbury NPC side to play at their best, with everyone chipping in and doing their part.
“Our community is everything to us,” said CRFU CEO Tony Smail, “they’re always throwing their support behind us, so it’s really important that we give that support back and emphasise the importance of getting vaccinated.”
As Canterbury Rugby Union’s partner, Ryman Healthcare, who has donated the tickets, is delighted the union has taken a leadership role in the community. “We are stoked to be working with the CRFU to support the vaccine drive,” said Ryman Healthcare Group Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod.
“More than 98% of our residents and team are already vaccinated, but the more people in the wider community who take part in the programme, the safer we will all be. Thanks to the players and to the Union for leading the way – and we hope everyone who takes part enjoys the game on us!”
Tony Smail said sports audiences, like other Kiwis, needed to get vaccinated.
“We’d love to be packing out the stadium, but unless we get our vaccination rates up, we will unfortunately continue to be forced to effectively play behind closed doors and that does nothing for us or our game.”
Players from the Canterbury NPC side will make a number of special visits to the drive through to give out tickets to their much anticipated first home game since lockdown, with the drive through open from until 7.30 pm tonight, and from 9am-7.15pm Friday and Saturday.
Kick off for the Hawkes Bay match is at 4.35pm on Saturday.
New Brighton Rugby Club has also joined the call to support their local community, with a vaccination pop Up at Rawhiti Domain next Monday through Thursday between 4.00 and 8.00 pm.Your blog post content here…