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It's time to paint it pink again this Sunday like these ladies did on Women in League day at Mount Smart Stadium last year. Photo: Photosport.

The Vodafone Warriors have launched their support of the NRLs annual Women in League cause with a ladies-only night at SKYCITY tonight to be followed by a range of events around Sundays triple header match day at Mount Smart Stadium (match day sponsor: dtr).

As they did last year, the NRL players will again don a specially-designed Canterbury of New Zealand pink playing strip when they face Newcastle (4.00pm kick-off) while halfback Shaun Johnson and some of his team-mates will also wear one-off pink Lethal Tigreor ASICS boots.

In another feature a special guard of honour will flank the Vodafone Warriors as they run onto the field, each player represented by special women in their lives mothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters, relatives or friends.

The Women in League cause is a great opportunity for us to acknowledge all the women involved throughout the club and in the rugby league community, said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.

We value their contribution throughout the year but this is one specific time when the NRL puts our women in the spotlight. Its a fantastic idea.


The Vodafone Warriors commitment to women was underlined recently when they signed up as the Kiwi Ferns major sponsor for their defence of the womens World Cup in the United Kingdom. The club is regularly involved in causes supporting women in the game and the community at large.

Close to a dozen women are employed or contracted by the Vodafone Warriors, constituting more than 20 per cent of the clubs work force.

Women also account for 46 per cent of the Vodafone Warriors membership base.

Three of those female members were special guests at tonights Warrior Princesses-themed event at SKYCITY, a function which brought together a cross-section of women from the wider rugby league community.

Each of the Auckland Rugby Leagues 33 clubs was been invited to send volunteers while the Auckland Rugby League Referees Association was also represented by women members.

Some of the clubs sponsors were among the guests along with representatives from the Kiwi Ferns, staff from the New Zealand Rugby League and the Auckland Rugby League, Vodafone Warriors female staff and also wives and partners of male football staff, players and office staff.


On game day, Vodafone Warriors members and fans are encouraged to paint Mount Smart Stadium pink by wearing something in the shade to acknowledge Women in League.

Earlier in the day the Vodafone Warriors will pamper wives and partners of CEOs of various club sponsors, starting the day with a high tea at SKYCITY.

Match day sponsor dtr has a wide range of activities planned including a gold coin collection for charity of the day Shine, the national domestic abuse charity which is supported by both dtr and the Vodafone Warriors.

To help the fund, dtr will donate $100 for every point the Vodafone Warriors score in their NRL encounter with the Knights.

Other features of the Women in League match day programme are:

A performance before the NRL game by the Shine choir from Wymondley School in Otara

A range of competitions, dtr prize packs and giveaways

Mini league games

Performances by the Mini Warriors Cheerleaders and the SKYCITY Cheer Team

Zorb obstacle race

The pink theme will be in full evidence for Vodafone Warriors platinum and gold members in the Club Lounge. Vodafone Warriors community manager Petrece Kesha and nutritionist Leanne Wann will be interviewed as will Mini Warriors Cheerleaders choreographer Candy Lane. Also interviewed will be players wives Jennifer Vatuvei and Michelle Mateo plus head coach Matthew Elliotts daughter Lucy, the clubs front office receptionist.

At the same time, therell be sombre mood as the Vodafone Warriors and the rugby league community pay their respects to former Vodafone Warriors travel manager Terry Baker, who died last Sunday. His funeral was held at Mount Smart Stadium yesterday.

Baker was named Vodafone Warriors Clubman of the Year twice (2001 and 2005) and was also honoured with a special service award in 2007 when he became only the second non-player to be awarded a Warriors wing. Therell be a tribute and a moments silence for Baker just before the NRL game while the players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect to him.

Following the match, the public are invited to join the Vodafone Warriors at a post-game function at The Deck on Level Two at SKYCITY. The event, starting at 8.00pm, is an opportunity for all Vodafone Warriors members and fans to meet and mingle with the clubs NRL players (children are welcome if accompanied by an adult).

During the function, SKYCITY prize packs will be handed to Vodafone Warriors players player of the day winners from the last nine matches (Cronulla, North Queensland, South Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canterbury-Bankstown, Penrith and Newcastle).



Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Sunday, May 26

12.00pmGates Open

12.05pmAuckland Vulcans v Newcastle (New South Wales Cup)

1.45pmVodafone Junior Warriors v Newcastle (NYC)

4.05pmVodafone Warriors v Newcastle (NRL)
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