The Tauranga Community Foodbank will benefit from donations that will be collected over a three week period by the female rugby players of the Rangataua Rugby Club. The club hopes to inspire other sports teams to get behind community initiatives.
From the field to the streets of Tauranga these are not your average female rugby players.
Gavin Masey, assistant coach for the Rangataua Rugby Women’s team says, “we have a group of senior players that look after all the younger players in the group and we came up with the idea that offering our services into the community as in going to the hospital and seeing sick people and just promoting our group and we thought the foodbank would be good you know there are a lot of people that in need”.
The team trains twice a week in Maungatapu which is when they collect the food.
Captain Kate Hemwood says, “We have got it set over three weeks within our team but already we have quite a bit of food from the girls already”.
Last year a headcount of homeless people in Tauranga revealed up to 70 people sleep rough on the streets. Another 400 people who, while not sleeping rough, also fit the definition of homeless.
“It is difficult in Tauranga, homelessness is on the rise as we know yeah it's a difficult time for working families as well with it being so cold I guess. It's a difficult time so we need to do what we can to help,” says Hemwood.
The team plays in the Bay of Plenty Women's rugby competition. The season started on May 13th and their games are held on a Sunday.