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Child Cancer Campaign To ‘Kick-Off’ In Schools

Media Release
30 May 2008

Child Cancer Campaign To ‘Kick-Off’ In Schools

A new soccer-based fundraising campaign for child cancer is launching in primary and intermediate schools today, with a ‘kick-start’ from New Zealand’s own soccer superstar, Ryan Nelsen.

Aptly named, ‘Kicks for Courage’, the exciting new initiative aims to encourage kiwi kids to get involved in soccer (football) while at the same time helping to raise money to support the Child Cancer Foundation.

“By participating in Kicks for Courage school kids can increase their physical activity, gain new soccer skills and knowledge and help to raise money for other kids in their community and perhaps even in their school, who are facing the daily challenges of childhood cancer,” said Olivia Blaylock, Marketing Manager, Child Cancer Foundation.

Kicks for Courage is being piloted in four main areas - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin - starting in June 2008, with the support of NZ Football, Nike, and ambassador Ryan Nelsen. The Foundation hopes to roll-out the fundraising programme nationally in 2009.

Next week, all New Zealand primary and intermediate schools in the four areas can expect to receive a letter requesting their involvement in Kicks for Courage. Schools enrolling before 13 June 2008 will be in to win special soccer-related prizes.

Nelsen, the current captain of Blackburn Rovers (English Premier League team) has been involved in junior soccer in New Zealand for a number of years and was delighted by the offer to champion the charity campaign.

“It’s exciting to see that soccer is now the fastest-growing team sport among boys and girls in New Zealand. It’s an easy-to-learn and low contact sport and by creating a fun campaign like Kicks for Courage, we can encourage kids to get involved in the game while also promoting compassion for others in need,” said Nelsen.

Nelsen will offer useful coaching tips to participating schools throughout Term 3 via a dedicated website -

“We appreciate that many schools have their own fundraising targets so with Kicks for Courage, 20 per cent of the funds raised by students will be given back to the participating school. The remainder of the proceeds will go towards providing vital support services to children and families around the country whose lives have been affected by childhood cancer,” said Blaylock.

Schools wishing to register for Kicks for Courage should visit

- Ends -

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