I Am Hope and the Warriors Community Foundation have announced a partnership for the 2023 season.
The relationship will see the I Am Hope logo appearing on the front of the NRL team’s playing shorts.
The partnership features a joint text fundraising effort across the season where supporters can text LOYAL to 469 to support both I Am Hope and the Warriors Community Foundation.
It will also see members of the One New Zealand Warriors team joining Gumboot Friday and I Am Hope initiatives, where their involvement will have a particular focus on providing education and support around youth mental health and wellbeing.
I Am Hope founder and mental health advocate Mike King says this partnership will have a massive positive impact.
“As a long-term Warriors fan, I see huge value in the support from a group of young men who experience the day-in day-out grind of training and competing, making themselves vulnerable for the world to see and criticise, amidst the trials and tribulations of professional sport,” he said.
“The One New Zealand Warriors can teach our kids a lot about resilience, vulnerability and above all the importance of having a team around you who can provide support when you need it most.”
The One New Zealand Warriors can teach our kids a lot about resilience, vulnerability and above all the importance of having a team around you who can provide support when you need it mostMike King I Am Hope founder
Warriors Community Foundation CEO Lincoln Jefferson sees real synergy in the partnership.
“Our kaupapa is that rugby league is more than just sport, it’s an avenue to bring people together, who care about their families and the communities they are part of,” he said.
“We tackle social issues with programmes and community initiatives that support mental health, anti-bullying, and other wellbeing skills that promote success for our youth.
“Mike King’s outstanding I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday charities which provide mental health support for youth clearly correlate with that and it’s only natural that we work together to make positive changes that are so sorely needed in our communities.”
I Am Hope chief executive Troy Elliott says there is a natural alignment between the two organisations and it makes sense to come together for a better cause.
“It’s fantastic to work with the One New Zealand Warriors again and now the Warriors Community Foundation following my last role with Vodafone,” he said.
“As national icons, our kids watch and look up to the players. This is a relationship that will lead to a significant positive change and we look forward to working together.”
The text campaign kick offs with the One New Zealand Warriors’ first NRL trial game against Wests Tigers at Mount Smart Stadium tonight.