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Grassroots rugby clubs named as Bunnings Rugby Assist recipients

Repairs to flood damage, leaking roofs and upgraded bathrooms for women’s players are among the benefits 20 community rugby clubs across the country will receive after being selected as the inaugural recipients of Bunnings Rugby Assist.

Bunnings Rugby Assist will see the successful clubs receive a share of $300,000 worth of Bunnings Warehouse products and materials to put towards improving their facilities.

Five clubs have been selected to receive support to the value of $30,000 and another 15 will receive support to the value of $10,000 thanks to Bunnings Warehouse, who have partnered with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) as the naming rights sponsor for the National Provincial Championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) and Heartland Championship.

Central Hawkes Bay Rugby & Sports Club (CHBRSC) is one of the five successful clubs to receive $30,000 of Bunnings products and materials and has plans to upgrade their changing room facilities and grandstand.

Jade Connelly applied on behalf of the club and with over 200 rugby club members she is ecstatic to be successful. “CHBRSC can’t wait to put the $30,000 to good use and improve the community space for generations to come, we are really appreciative. Thank you Bunnings,” Connelly said.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Community Rugby, Steve Lancaster, said the response to Bunnings Rugby Assist has been very positive with a third of New Zealand rugby clubs applying.

“Grassroots rugby plays a vital role in the game we love, it’s fundamental to keeping the game strong. We’re thrilled to have Bunnings Warehouse in our corner, providing some extra support to club rugby in the form of Bunnings Rugby Assist.

“Selecting the successful clubs was especially difficult not just because of the quantity, but all the clubs that entered were really worthy applicants. We’re looking forward to seeing how the successful clubs bring their projects to life,” said Lancaster.

Bunnings Director, New Zealand, Ben Camire said, “The passion and dedication shown by the club volunteers and communities who applied for Bunnings Rugby Assist is really encouraging. They share our goal of helping to build grassroots rugby, which is at the heart of every community in this country.

“Bunnings has a longstanding commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the wider community, so we are really excited to be able to make a positive difference to grassroots rugby through Bunnings Rugby Assist.”

Bunnings Rugby Assist ambassador and All Blacks legend Stephen Donald said he was looking forward to seeing the positive impact of the program on local rugby clubs and their communities.

“The support I’ve experienced and witnessed from local club rugby is so important to the players and keeps the sport thriving. It’s crucial for the next generation of rugby legends that we support grassroots rugby.”

Rugby clubs who missed out in 2021 will have another chance to apply for the Bunnings Rugby Assist in 2022 with the application process to be announced in due course.

Fund Recipients:

Auckland Te Papapa Onehunga Rugby​ $10k
Manukau Rovers $10k
Bay of Plenty Rotoiti Sports & Community Club $30k
Marist Whakātane Rugby Club $10k
Buller Westport Rugby Football Club​ $10k
Canterbury Cheviot Rugby Club $10k
Prebbleton $10k
Counties Maramarua Rugby Club $10k
Papakura Rugby Football Club Inc​ $30k
East Coast Tokararangi Sports Club Inc. $10k
Hawke’s Bay CHB Rugby & Sports Club $30k
Horowhenua Levin College Old Boys RFC​ $10k
Manawatu Dannevirke Sports Club Inc​ $10k
Mid Canterbury Ashburton Celtic Rugby Club $30k
Northland Onerahi Rugby Football Club Inc​ $10k
Otago Alhambra Union Rugby Club $30k
Green Island Rugby Football Club $10k
Southland Star Rugby Club Invercargill Inc $10k
Waikato Pirongia Rugby & Sports Club​ $10k
Whanganui Wanganui Pirates Rugby Football​ $10k

Bunnings Rugby Assist is part of New Zealand Rugby and Bunnings Warehouse three-year deal to sponsor domestic competitions and support community rugby across the country. Bunnings Warehouse is the primary partner and naming rights sponsor of the Bunnings National Provincial Championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) presented by Bunnings, Bunnings Heartland Championships and Super Rugby Under 20s Championship presented by Bunnings.

About Bunnings

Bunnings is a leading retailer of home and lifestyle products for consumer and commercial customers in New Zealand. We are a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople and the housing industry. Bunnings employs more than 4,900 team members in New Zealand and in FY20 participated in more than 5,200 community activities, helping to raise and contribute more than $1.1 million dollars for local community groups.