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Northland schools are the first to benefit from the ACC Everyday Athlete wellbeing programme launched today in partnership with the Vodafone Warriors.

Vodafone Warriors NRL squad members Sione Lousi, Mason Lino and Toafofoa Sipley have joined NRL community ambassadors Jerome Ropati and Georgia Hale plus club legend Ruben Wiki to roll out the ACC Everyday Athlete initiative.

Ropati, Lino and Sipley led the official launch at Whau Valley School today while Lousi, Hale and Wiki simultaneously introduced it at Tikipunga Primary School.

Across today and tomorrow, Harvey Norman Community Warriors will visit a total of 12 schools, most of which will be introduced to the ACC Everyday Athlete while some will benefit from the KidsCan Raincoats for Kids programme.

“We’re really excited we’ll be able to show so many kids in Whangarei and nearby areas just how important the ACC Everyday Athlete programme is to them,” said Vodafone Warriors community relations manager Petrece Kesha.

“Our school visits will have a special focus on proper hydration, sleep and encouraging a strong sense of belonging.”

Emma Powell, ACC’s head of injury prevention partnerships and delivery said the commission was excited to partner Harvey Norman Community Warriors to deliver the Everyday Athlete programme in schools throughout New Zealand.

“Sport and physical activity is good for us, providing a wide range of benefits,” said Powell.

“Everyday Athlete is all about teaching kids how to do sport well, so they perform well, have fun and avoid injuries.

“Our partnership with the Vodafone Warriors through Harvey Norman Community Warriors provides an opportunity for kids to learn from some of New Zealand’s top athletes.

“Through this programme we hope to see more kids enjoying physical activity and sport, and fewer side-lined by injury. We want to set kids up with the knowledge and skills they need for life-long participation in sport and recreation.”

Harvey Norman Community Warriors will also deliver the ACC Everyday Athlete initiative to schools in Nelson next week ahead of the Vodafone Warriors’ final NRL trial against St George Illawarra at Trafalgar Park on Saturday, February 20.

During the regular season ACC Everyday Athlete will be introduced to more schools when the Vodafone Warriors NRL play matches in Wellington, Christchurch and New Plymouth.

As well as the ACC Everyday Athlete programme, some Northland schools will benefit from the Raincoats for Kids initiative run by Vodafone Warriors charity partner KidsCan.

The visit to Whangarei also features a coaching session for elite players at Whangarei Boys’ High School tomorrow (5.30pm start) when Lousi, Lino, Sipley, Ropati, Hale and Wiki will join Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro and academy and pathways manager Duane Mann.

On Saturday morning Lousi, Lino, Sipley, Ropati and Hale will be at the Harvey Norman Whangarei store with the Harvey Norman Community Warriors passing wall encouraging all fans to join them to test their skills. The appearance runs from 10.30am-11.30am with spot prizes up for grabs.

The players will also mix and mingle with corporate guests and fans at Toll Stadium later on Saturday.

The Vodafone Warriors are involved in three trials.

In the first a Vodafone Warriors academy selection will face a Northland Swords academy side (1.00pm kick-off) followed by a preseason match between the club’s New South Wales Cup and NYC teams (3.10pm).

The main trial between the Vodafone Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans kicks off at 5.30pm with experienced NRL Jared Maxwell and Henry Perenara in charge.

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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