The Vodafone Warriors are calling on fans to wear their gumboots to Mt Smart Stadium for next Friday’s clash with the Gold Coast Titans after the club confirmed it had joined forces with New Zealander of the year Mike King to support his Gumboot Friday initiative.
In addition to wearing their gumboots, Vodafone Warriors fans will also be encouraged to donate a gold coin into gumboots held by local celebrities when they arrive at the stadium.
A number of other activities planned for the Titans game day will be announced next week.
Set up by King and his organisation, I Am Hope, Gumboot Friday aims to raise money so that young New Zealanders can access free mental health counselling. All proceeds raised from the day will go to the cause.
The gumboot symbolises the fact that having depression can be like walking through mud every day. The idea is that people across New Zealand are encouraged to wear gumboots and take a walk in the shoes of people living with depression.
“For a lot of Kiwi families, funded counselling is not immediately available and private is beyond their means. On Gumboot Friday our goal is to try and raise $2,000,000 so kids can access free private counselling if and when they need it,” King said.
“Gumboot Friday is about fun while raising funds and as a Kiwi wearing my gumboots to work sounds like a whole lot of fun.
“Having the Vodafone Warriors come on board and embrace Gumboot Friday is a dream come true and I can’t wait till game day to personally thank their supporters.”
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said as a club that has youth at its core, Gumboot Friday was an important event for the Vodafone Warriors to support.
“At the Vodafone Warriors, we place a great amount of importance on the wellbeing of our players and our staff, and mental health is a huge part of that,” he said.
“We are proud to be supporting Gumboot Friday, helping further promote the message around the importance of mental health in young people across our country, and helping raise money for counselling and support services at a grassroots level.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing to have thousands of fans here next Friday and wearing their gumboots?”