ARL And Police Boot Drive To Return In 2021
For the second year running the Auckland Rugby League and Tāmaki Makaurau Police will work together to run the Auckland Boot Bin Project, which last year saw hundreds of boots re-homed to people around the region.
In 2020 the rugby league community, and members of the general public, donated more than 100 pairs of boots which the Tāmaki Makaurau Police then cleaned and re-laced before making them available for collection at the Kiwi Tag National Club Challenge.
With a record 72 teams set to take the field in this year's edition of the tournament, ARL chief executive Greg Whaiapu said it's an ideal event to run the bin at.
"This tournament is a great chance to make the boot bin available to a large group of people from across the Auckland region," Whaiapu said.
"It is all about removing barriers to playing sport for people in our community, whether that be rugby league, Kiwi Tag or another sport or leisure activity completely.
"Last year we saw an outpouring of generosity from people in terms of donating pairs of boots and there was real demand for them at the other end too.
"Our thanks go out to the Tāmaki Makaurau Police and in particular Acting Inspector Mark Clayton for their efforts to organise the boot drive."
Acting Inspector Clayton said Police staff didn’t hesitate to get onboard and donate boots for a second year.
“For us it’s a great opportunity to give back to the communities we serve, and help kids play the game they love without putting any financial pressure on their families,” Clayton said.
“Being able to help, and seeing the children’s faces and smiles when they get their boots, is so rewarding.”
Police also donated dozens of boots throughout last year as part of other boot bin projects.
Outside of the ARL and Police efforts, Auckland clubs such as the Te Atatu Roosters and Pukekohe Pythons have also organised their own boot drives in the past year to help out their local communities.