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Hawke’s Bay Junior Sport Bags Unison Goodies

Hawke’s Bay Junior Sport Bags Unison Goodies

21 May 2014 – Hawke’s Bay residents could be forgiven for thinking a bright yellow bag is the latest fashion accessory for our region’s youngsters, after Unison distributed almost 7,000 kit bags as part of its ‘Greatest Supporter’ programme.

Over the last few months, junior rugby, hockey and netball players in Hawke’s Bay have been issued with a yellow Unison kit bag and drink bottle, with the addition of a mouth guard for both rugby and hockey.

Originating from Unison’s support of junior rugby in Hawke’s Bay, which now enters its sixth year, the Greatest Supporter programme encourages participation by providing sporting equipment to junior players, whilst also providing a vehicle for delivering important messages about staying safe around electricity.

“We’re excited to be extending the Greatest Supporter programme to both junior netball and hockey this year. Over the last five years, we’ve worked closely with the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union to develop this successful programme, and we’re pleased to be able to extend this initiative to a wider part of our community,” said Unison Group Chief Executive Officer, Ken Sutherland.

“As a community-owned organisation, we’re passionate about making a difference at a grassroots level. In addition to helping grow participation in sport, our partnerships with rugby, netball and hockey also help us to educate children about electrical safety which, as the owner of electricity distribution equipment powering our communities, is extremely important to us.”

Hawke’s Bay Hockey Academy and Representative Manager, Dean Hulls, said the support of kids at grassroots was not only a vital component of producing the hockey stars of the future, but was also a big factor in developing a healthy active community.

“Unison's generous support in providing equipment for over 800 young hockey players in Hawke's Bay is fantastic, and will encourage kids to develop a passion for the sport.”

Since Unison partnered with Hawke’s Bay junior rugby in 2009, Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union Commercial Manager, Jay Campbell, said they had seen a significant growth in participation.

“Over the last five seasons, we’ve seen our numbers grow year-on-year by an average of around 5%. This year we will have over 3,000 children aged between 5-12 years old registered with a Club to play with an additional 1,600 high school students playing, and that is fantastic to see”.

Tina Arlidge, Operations Manager for Hawke’s Bay Netball said she was thrilled Unison had come on board as a major sponsor of junior netball in Hawke’s Bay.

“A major focus of our work in 2014 will be in Primary Schools, rolling out the new Netball New Zealand Junior Programme which ensures every child has access to a quality and consistent programme, and develops a lifelong love of the game.

“This is the first year we will be offering netball to five and six year-old children. With Unison’s support, this is shaping up to be a very successful season.”


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