The Vodafone Warriors have formed a not-for-profit Warriors Community Foundation that will enable the club to expand its current programmes and develop new initiatives across New Zealand.
Vodafone Warriors chairman Rob Croot says the club has a unique ability to connect with the community, listen to their needs and use the club’s voice to help drive change.
"The Warriors Community Foundation will provide a sustainable structure to enhance our existing community activities and a platform to launch new initiatives to reach all corners of the country," he said.
“The community has always been the beating heart of the Vodafone Warriors – both on and off the field. The club is passionate about supporting the community, which it has done for more than 25 years, and the foundation has been created to enable us to expand on the incredible work the team does.”
The community has always been the beating heart of the Vodafone WarriorsRob Croot Vodafone Warriors chairman
The current focus of the Warriors Community Foundation's initiatives includes improving literacy in primary schools, promoting the fundamentals of wellbeing among secondary school students, as well as raising awareness and providing education about family violence.
To date, the club has helped more than 323,000 children in nearly 2500 schools through its community initiatives.
"We want to continue to grow the number of students we can include in the initiatives and schools we visit around the country, which carry some hugely important messages for the community,” says Croot.
The foundation will partner with like-minded companies to fund opportunities that will make a real and lasting difference in local communities around New Zealand.
Vodafone Warriors legend Ruben Wiki is on board as foundation ambassador to help and inspire young New Zealanders to reach their potential in all aspects of life.
If something happens, the Warriors are there to help. That’s just part of our club DNA.Ruben Wiki Warriors Community Foundation ambassador
Wiki says the foundation's aim is to continue the work it does in the community but make it even more effective and targeted to deliver meaningful social change.
“Kids grow up watching the Vodafone Warriors play, they look up to the players, so creating and growing more programmes is going to put a lot of smiles on faces and will make a big difference,” he said.
“Vodafone Warriors players have always responded to the immediate needs of the community, whether that’s going into schools or just helping someone change a tyre on the side of the road. If something happens, the Warriors are there to help. That’s just part of our club DNA.”