A young woman is using social media to make a plea for new and old rugby boots for kids in Samoa. Taylah Hodson-Tomokino says she was shocked to hear that many of them were injuring their feet because they couldn't afford to buy them.
It's a cause from the heart and she's giving it her all.
Taylah Hodson-Tomokino (Ngāti Maniapoto) says, “I wouldn't even be able to count cause there is just so many just from knowing my brother's school and he said at least half the kids don't have boots.”
It was a cause Taylah Hodson Tomokino just couldn't ignore when she learnt of the innumerable amount of children playing with no boots.
Hodson-Tomokino says, “It definitely affects your performance, you know you can't scrum properly with no boots, you can't step properly without slipping, I mean, I'm sure everyone has played backyard touch and slipped over without having shoes on but that's their reality, they always play with no boots and that's quite sad.”
The 21-year-old rugby commentator for Sky TV says, public response to a recent Facebook post has been overwhelming but adds more can be done.
Hodson-Tomokino says, “I'm really happy with that but I just hope more people come and just donate their boots and cause heaps of people have them just lying around and the rugby season's starting in a couple of months so everyone's buying their new boots so if they had any boots left over just give them to me.”
Taylah has a personal connection to the Samoan Rugby Union, her father Ramsey Tomokino is the manager of the national side.
Hodson-Tomokino says, “We're supposed to be helping grow the game in the Pacific and getting these countries more competitive, they need to have the basics like having shoes and you can't really compare someone scrumming with boots and someone who's not, it's just a big difference.”
Taylah will travel to Samoa on Friday were she will present her donation to the Samoan Rugby Union CEO Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea'i.
If you would like to donate boots to the cause please contact Taylah on her Facebook page.