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Kiwi kid to represent NZ at 2014 FIFA World Cup Final

Kiwi kid to represent NZ at 2014 FIFA World Cup Final

Ten-year-old football fan wins trip of a lifetime to Brazil in July

Matt, Will and Tim

Ten-year-old football fanatic, Will Richardson, never imagined he’d be the first Kiwi to represent New Zealand at a FIFA World Cup TM Final. But at his football training session yesterday, he found out he’s off to Brazil to walk a player onto the pitch at the final of the world’s biggest sporting spectacle.
Will was the envy of his Eastern Suburbs football team after All White team members, Tim Payne and Matt Ridenton surprised him to let him know he had won the once-in-a-lifetime prize through a McDonald’s® Skills Zone competition.

Will and his mum, Victoria Richardson, from the east Auckland suburb St Heliers, will join 21 other children from around the world for the final. They will fly to Galeao International Airport in Rio de Janeiro where they will stay for four nights with free accommodation, meals, group activities and, of course, entry into the 2014 FIFA World CupTM Final.

“We are so excited for Will and his mum,” says McDonald’s New Zealand managing director Patrick Wilson. “This will truly be the trip of a lifetime for this young football fan and we are proud that McDonald’s New Zealand can offer this through our global FIFA World Cup sponsorship.”

Will won the prize by attending the McDonald’s® Skills Zone Day in Auckland on Sunday 18 May. He completed Skills Zone football challenges to enter the McDonald’s competition, which was open to 6 to 10-year-olds and attracted over 1,000 entries.

The young footballer’s mum Victoria took him to the event not expecting him to take out the big prize. “This is a dream come true for Will. He lives and breathes football and is so excited to meet an international pro-footballer and walk them onto the pitch. This will be an experience he will never forget, nor will I,” says Victoria.

Three Skills Zone Day events, organised by McDonald’s NZ and New Zealand Football, were held on the same day in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Children who couldn’t make it to one of the main centres, could get their parents or guardian to enter on their behalf by uploading a video on showcasing the child’s football skills.

“The competition is a great extension of our long term support for junior football. McDonald’s Skills Zone programme which was launched in 2013 and since then thousands of kids and their coaches have participated in the grassroots football development programme,” says Wilson.
New Zealand Football is responsible for leading, governing and regulating football in New Zealand. The organisation is passionate about developing young football talent and increasing the number of participants in the game.

“Congratulations to Will for winning this amazing prize. We’d like to thank all the children who took part in the Skills Zone Day events and entered the competition. It was great to see such enthusiasm from so many young football fans and such great support from our partners like McDonald’s,” says NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin.
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