Rosebank Primary School pupils had a special visit from a well-known old boy this week when Vodafone Warriors forward Leivaha Pulu dropped in at his old school along with teammate and fellow West Aucklander Bunty Afoa and charity partner KidsCan.
The players were there to speak to the school’s 450 students and give out Vodafone Warriors-branded raincoats as part of KidsCan’s Raincoats for Kids programme.
The visit was part of the build-up to the Great Vodafone Warriors Charity Day on Sunday, June 30, when the club hosts the Penrith Panthers. KidsCan is one of the five partner charities the Vodafone Warriors are supporting through the charity day.
The Raincoats for Kids programme shows how the gift of a simple coat helps to improve school attendance levels on wet days by keeping children warm and dry and ensuring they’re in a better state to learn.
Pulu said he felt proud to be back at his old primary school, doing his bit to support KidsCan and helping give back to the school.
It was pretty special for me to head back to my old school and be part of this experienceLeivaha Pulu Vodafone Warriors back rower
“It was pretty special for me to head back to my old school and be part of this experience today. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in their shoes so I really enjoyed being able to go back,” he said.
“Also doing our bit for KidsCan was something I know is really important. They do a great job for kids who aren’t getting the basics, through no fault of their own, helping provide them with food and clothing. The kids loved getting the raincoats today and it was a real buzz for Bunty and I to be part of it.”
KidsCan's CEO and founder Julie Chapman said she's incredibly grateful for the work the Vodafone Warriors do to support children in hardship.
It means so much for these kids to get a raincoat from players who they idoliseJulie Chapman KidsCan CEO
"It means so much for these kids to get a raincoat from players who they idolise,” she said.
“These jackets make a huge difference. Without them, kids turn up to school cold and wet, or don't turn up at all. For some, it's the warmest item they own.
“We don't want the weather to be a barrier to any child learning. It's education that will break the cycle of poverty and we thank the Vodafone Warriors for joining us in giving kids a chance at a better future."
As part of the Great Vodafone Warriors Charity Day, fans have the opportunity to do their bit when buying tickets by entering the code for their favourite charity from among the club’s five partners. For every ticket purchased with a charity code, the Vodafone Warriors will donate an additional $5 straight to that charity.
To support KidsCan when buying your tickets for the June 30 match against the Penrith Panthers, use the code word KIDSCAN at the following link: https://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/promo/3g108s to donate $5 to RMHC New Zealand.
Aside from KidsCan the Vodafone Warriors’ other four charity partners are KidsCan, Le Va, Paralympics New Zealand, Ronald McDonald House and Shine.