Local junior rugby club raises $40,000 for tour

Young members of the Upper Clutha Junior Rugby Club will hit the road next week to test themselves against teams from across the South Island.

The club’s under-13 boys have raised $40,000 for the trip and two teams will head up the West Coast for matches in Greymouth, the Hanmer/Culverden area and Pleasant Point, South Canterbury.

Twenty-seven boys and 21 parents will attend and committee chair Richard Sides said the tour was the result of a huge effort by everyone involved.

“This is a culmination of 14 months’ intensive fundraising, amazing community sponsorship, and hundreds of hours of volunteer time. It’s amazing how it all adds up.

“Virtually all of the fundraising has involved serious labour and time input by the boys as well as parents, and these efforts have fostered a real team spirit,” he said.

The youngsters have carried out a variety of fundraisers alongside their parents, ranging from collecting firewood and emptying woolsheds of sheep manure to running concert clean-ups and sausage sizzles.

They have also been helped by donations from local businesses, with each player going out and finding their own $100 sponsor.

The club has been running the trip every two years for around a decade. This year’s begins on April 22 and Richard said the youngsters were looking forward to it.

“The boys have been practising hard and are amping to represent their club and area, Upper Clutha, while taking in some amazing South Island experiences,” he said.

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