For the first time, all 14 provincial unions will take the field wearing pink socks in round nine of the Bunnings Warehouse NPC in support of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ (BCFNZ). The ‘pink sock’ initiative will see teams raise awareness in the lead up to and at matches across the weekend, kicking off with Hawke’s Bay hosting Tasman at McLean Park in Napier on Friday 30 September.
Teams playing away from home will wear pink socks, while home teams will be in white socks with a pink ribbon graphic around the top. Home teams will further support BCFNZ on game day through awareness messaging and fundraising activations at stadium.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said: “It is heartening to see the role rugby can play in supporting Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, especially with all 14 Bunnings Warehouse NPC provincial unions banding together to take this initiative to the field. It is an important cause that affects a lot of Kiwis, I am looking forward to supporting all teams running out in pink later this month.”
Ah-Leen Rayner, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ said: “We’re thrilled by this opportunity to raise funds and awareness through the Bunnings Warehouse NPC. Nine New Zealanders are diagnosed with breast cancer every day and three of them will live outside of the main centres.
“What better way to show love for the women in your life than by donating generously to this campaign and helping to spread the message that early detection is the best way to beat breast cancer. Your support will help us to reach zero deaths from breast cancer.”
The Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU) and its Bunnings Warehouse NPC team will be taking the pink sock fundraising initiative a step further by removing all the gold elements off their playing shorts and jerseys and replacing them with pink in what is believed to be the first time the union’s logo has been changed in 141 years.
ORFU CEO Richard Kinley said, “The Breast Cancer Foundation NZ supports people when they need it most. For us, this is an opportunity to support them and work they do. I am not aware of when the O has not been gold, making this change reinforces how committed we are to backing them.”
Bunnings Warehouse Round Nine schedule (30 September – 2 October):
Friday 30 September, 7.05PM: Hawke's Bay v Tasman at McLean Park
Saturday 1 October, 2.05PM: Southland v North Harbour at Invercargill Rugby Park
Saturday 1 October, 4.35PM: Auckland v Taranaki at Eden Park
Saturday 1 October, 7.05PM: Otago v Canterbury at Forsyth Barr Stadium
Sunday 2 October, 2.05PM: Counties Manukau v Wellington, Navigation Homes Stadium
Sunday 2 October, 2.05PM: Northland v Manawatū, Semenoff Stadium
Sunday 2 October, 4.35PM: Waikato v Bay of Plenty, FMG Stadium Waikato
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ facts:
Breast Cancer Foundation advice for women (and their whanau):
Text PINK to 2447 to donate $3 to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ and help save lives from breast cancer.