A young Vodafone Warriors fan from Te Papapa School in Onehunga had the surprise of his life when two players arrived at his school and presented him with a family season membership for the upcoming 2019 season.
Chanel Tevita-Harris and Hayze Perham presented 11-year-old Daniel Abbott with the membership - and he was over the moon.
The membership was donated to the club by a generous member of the public, and the club, along with KidsCan, decided to gift it to a deserving family within the local community and close to Mount Smart Stadium.
Daniel, who has down syndrome and has the support of a teacher aide, was chosen by Te Papapa School as a deserving recipient due to his love for the Vodafone Warriors.
Daniel, his father Trevor, his teacher aide Rose Fonohema and her son Sione (10) will make use of the membership together and go to every home game.
Vodafone Warriors community relations co-ordinator Georgia Hale, who organised the surprise along with KidsCan and Te Papapa School, said Daniel’s reaction to the players calling out his name was priceless.
He just couldn’t get up there fast enough to shake the players’ handsGeorgia Hale Vodafone Warriors community relations coordinator
“He sprinted up to the stage to receive his membership. He just couldn’t get up there fast enough to shake the players’ hands – it was so awesome to see," she said.
"He said he’s a huge fan of the club and even had the draw for the upcoming season up on his wall at home, so he knows when the team plays!
“It’s so special for us as a club to be able to do things like this for people like Daniel. The players really enjoyed being there and seeing the delight on his face, and to meet his father Trevor who was also so grateful for the membership.
"We are also so thankful to the member of the public who donated the membership. I think it’s really made Daniel’s year!”