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Taradale Masters Raise Over $12,000 for teammates Family

The Power Of Sport: Taradale Masters Raise Over $12,000 for teammates Family

Sport has the power to create meaningful experiences and a sense of belonging within a community. If we look at what the All Blacks have created for New Zealand – country pride, a team to back no matter what the result, determination among players and fans and an internal understanding of what it means to wear the black jersey – it shows the true extent of what a sport can do for those playing it and those supporting it.

No one stands alone within those teams. Players aren’t fighting for themselves. They’re fighting as a team, a cohesive unit to achieve a common goal. Whether that is achieved or not, it still creates a meaningful experience among all. And that’s definitely no exception for the Taradale Masters football team.

At the beginning of June, one of the team’s members, Ronnie Cornish, passed away unexpectedly. The 41-year old left behind four children, a loving and supportive family, a team and a community that all valued his presence.

With the sudden loss of a member, and the realisation that Ronnie wouldn’t be around to support his children the way he would have loved to, the Taradale Masters took it upon themselves to fundraise for the children he left behind.

Over the course of the season, the team tallied up ‘fines’ after each game (a total of $1750) that all went into a pool to put towards the final fundraising count. The community have rallied behind the team to support their fundraising bid to support the family, contributing to a number of small initiatives that have made a big difference. The team sold $5 raffle tickets which raised $5000 alone as well as having supporters of the team carry around donations buckets throughout and at the end of each game collecting small donations wherever they could. The donation buckets would get on average $100-$150 per game with several other clubs and opponents showing a great amount of generosity.

They also held a large fundraising quiz night where wineries, butchers, and several other businesses donated a variety of products to raffle off on the night for free. Colin Stewart, a member of the Taradale Masters, said “we were aiming to have at least 70 people attend, but ended up with 130 participants.”

With one last push to get over the $10,000 mark, a memorial game against Ronnie’s old Gisborne team was held at Park Island on Saturday, October 8. The Taradale Masters finished the campaign raising $12,360.00 to support Ronnie’s family.

Nelson Mandella once said sport “has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” Ronnie Cornish and the Taradale Masters are one great example of that.

In times of tragedy, sport can bring a community together to not only support each other but to help others in times of need. The Taradale Masters football team have shown that a little bit of effort can make a big difference.

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