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Ian Foster Joins Big Buddy For Breakfast

On Saturday May 23, Ian Foster will be turning his legendary talent for shaping rugby into support for boys without dads in their lives.

While the rugby season stands still, Foster has found a rare window of time to appear in the first episode of the Big Buddy Breakfast Series, an interactive, online fundraising event designed to steer Big Buddy through significant disruption to funding.

Media personality and GJ Gardner Homes Ambassador, Simon Barnett, will ‘sit down’ with Foster to get to grips with the current rugby landscape in New Zealand – a subject thousands of Kiwis want some certainty on.

Because of this, the direction of the discussion will be guided by the questions attendees really want answered.

This unique ‘take it where you like rugby’ event will run from 10 – 11am – a time and day when many viewers would normally be out playing sport or standing on pitch sidelines. This time they’ll be engaging on devices from the comfort of their living rooms.

Entry to the fundraiser can be purchased for as little as $20, in the form of a Big Buddy website donation. However, tickets are strictly limited and expected to sell out fast.

“The team at Big Buddy are incredibly grateful for this amazing gesture on the part of Ian Foster,” says CEO Paul Burns. “We’re also indebted to our Foundation Partner, GJ Gardner Homes for their support on this particular event – that goes for Simon Barnett too.

“We know attendees will love this event. But they should also know that their contribution is directly helping over 150 families who are waiting patiently to find a Big Buddy for a boy whose dad is not around. Making this difference has a huge, positive impact on communities and we heartily thank them for that.”

Tickets to the event can be purchased by making a donation at


- Big Buddy offers a free, secular service that finds and screens male volunteers and matches them with boys of 7-14 years of age from the Big Buddy waiting list. The agency operates in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga.

- Big Buddy began operating in 1997. It was trialled as part of Man Alive, an organisation focused on men’s wellbeing. By 2003, Big Buddy had grown sufficiently to become a stand-alone charity, with the continued goal of preventing boys who grew up without a father from ending up in the judicial system.

- At end April 2020, Big Buddy had facilitated almost 900 matches; there were 20 new, approved volunteers waiting to be matched; there were 40 men in the screening/ training phase, which usually takes up to 8 weeks to complete. The process includes psychological assessment as well as professional and personal interviews plus police checks.

- At end April 2020, there were 123 boys officially waiting for a Big Buddy, and 47 with enquiries in process i.e. 170 families waiting to be an active part of the Big Buddy programme.

© Scoop Media

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