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Nationwide initiative to help more kids into sports

Media Release
25th November 2019

Nationwide initiative ignites Kiwi generosity to help more kids into sports.

Tom Abercrombie, New Zealand Breakers captain and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, is joined other Olympic and Paralympic athletes, all lending their support to a good cause. Photo credit: Getty Images

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Cadbury has joined forces with the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Paralympics New Zealand and KidsCan to launch a nationwide community initiative that helps to combat exclusion in sports amongst young Kiwi kids.

Supported by athletes Tom Abercrombie and Tupou Neiufi, the ‘Donate Your Kit’ campaign has been launched in response to research from Sport New Zealand, which found that 1 in 8 kids feel excluded from sport because they don’t have the appropriate equipment.

The finding was drawn from data collected in 2017 and 2018 from 60,000 young people aged between five and 17.

Igniting the generosity of New Zealanders nationwide, Cadbury’s initiative will invite communities to donate pre-loved sport kit in good condition via purple lockers, distributed across New Zealand. KidsCan will then be helping to get the kit to those who need it most.

In addition to donations from the public, Cadbury has pledged to donate 10,000 items of new sports kit to children in need. With this commitment, Cadbury hopes to encourage more Kiwi kids into the sports this nation prides itself on.

Lending his support to the cause is New Zealand Breakers captain and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Tom Abercrombie, who understands the benefits of sports participation, which extend far beyond the physical. His own journey has seen him rise to great success, which wouldn’t have been possible without the appropriate gear and opportunities.

"Access to sporting equipment is a privilege that many young kids can never enjoy. Kiwis helping out Kiwis, doing some good in their local communities and giving young children in need pre-loved sporting kit is a great way to show our collective generosity” he said.

“I know how tough it can be for a young hooper trying to source some shoes or basketballs. With that in mind, I’ll be donating some of my best kit and encourage those able to do the same!"

Paralympian Tupou Neiufi, who won a silver medal at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, has overcome huge obstacles to climb world rankings and achieve what she has on a global stage.

Speaking about the campaign, she said “Just like children living with disabilities, those who do not have access to sporting gear are so greatly disadvantaged and the opportunities are not immediately available to them. These Kiwi kids have to work twice as hard to achieve their goals.”

“Helping children in poverty and especially those that are disabled is something that is very close to my heart. I have grown up in a community in South Auckland where some children go without, including being unable to participate in sport and recreation.”

“I have been very lucky to have the support of my family, friends and church community to enable me to follow my sporting dreams. I hope New Zealanders show their generosity and donate their sports equipment to help more Kiwi kids get active and play sport.”

Tom Abercrombie and Tupou Neiufi are joined by other inspiring Kiwi athletes, including Tim Mikkelson, and collectively they are committed to making a difference in young people’s lives through sport.

Cadbury is offering Kiwis the chance to meet these sporting stars at two public events to celebrate the campaign at Auckland’s Britomart between 5th and 7th December and Wellington’s Te Ngākau Civic Square between 13th and 16th December.

Purple lockers will be located at each event for the public to donate their pre-loved sports gear. At both events, mystery lockers will contain prizes and one lucky attendee will win an athlete experience for two.

Extending their commitment to sports, Cadbury has also partnered with the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Paralympics New Zealand to help the country’s aspiring Olympian and Paralympian athletes go from strength to strength and reach their full sporting potential on a global stage.

Cadbury New Zealand’s Head of Marketing, William Papesch, said “New Zealand has such a high calibre of talent working towards the Games in 2020 and we are proud to be official partners of New Zealand Olympic Committee and Paralympics New Zealand, supporting these athletes on their journey to sporting success.”

“But all athletes have to start somewhere, and our national sporting heroes have not achieved what they have without access to sporting equipment from a young age. Our commitment to sports in New Zealand starts with a pledge to donate thousands of new sports equipment to Kiwi kids and with a request to the public to donate pre-loved gear. This latest initiative hopes to prove the generous spirit that lives within every Kiwi.”

KidsCan CEO and Founder, Julie Chapman, said that this initiative marks the first stage in a longer-term partnership with Cadbury.

“Providing sports kit to children in New Zealand who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to participate is a good first step towards breaking down barriers making sure all Kiwi kids can participate in sports. However, there are many other obstacles experienced by families and children.”

“Engagements with schools across the country have shown that young people in high deprivation areas are more likely to be excluded from sport due to the costs associated, as families often have to make the difficult choices of putting food on the table relative to giving kids the opportunity to participate. With Cadbury, we hope to help solve these broader needs and get kids from every community up and down the country enjoying sports.”

Following the two upcoming launch events, Cadbury will be placing the iconic purple lockers throughout the country next year. For more information and to find out how to apply to have a locker placed in your local sports club, office or community centre please visit: or search ‘Donate Your Kit’.

Event Details

Donate Your Kit: Auckland Launch Event
Thursday 5th December – Saturday 7th December, between 8am and 6pm
Takutai Square, Britomart
Auckland CBD,
Auckland, 1010

Donate Your Kit: Wellington Launch Event
Friday 13th December – Monday 16th December, between 8am and 6pm
Te Ngākau Civic Square,
Wellington, 6011


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