Following the recent devastation caused by natural disasters in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, SANZAR has announced it will dedicate the first round of the new Super Rugby season to help drive awareness and support for disaster relief fundraising, by branding Round 1 “Disaster Relief Round”.
The joint venture between the Australian Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby Union and South African Rugby, SANZAR will work with Super Rugby franchises and broadcast partners during the first round of Super Rugby games to raise awareness of how people can help those effected by recent disasters in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The “Disaster Relief Round” will include signage at all Australian games and in commentary mentions and TV graphics across the three countries educating people on how they can do their part to help the hundreds of thousands effected in the three countries.
Some matches, including the Queensland Reds vs Western Force match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday 20 February, will carry out collections at the ground and will be promoting relief appeals through signage in the stadium.
The Queensland Reds have also setup a Rugby Relief fund dedicated to raising funds for Queensland Rugby Clubs devastated by the recent floods.
The Durban-based Sharks will be calling on supporters during their match against the Cheetahs to contribute to a local relief agency, following floods in South Africa’s KwaZula-Natal and the Free State provinces that accounted for the majority of the 123 deaths suffered in South African flooding.
Meanwhile broadcast partners Fox Sports in Australia, Sky TV in New Zealand and Super Sport in South Africa will be promoting relief websites for people to donate during their coverage of opening round matches.
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said the tragic events that affected a number of communities in recent weeks were saddening to watch for people from all three nations. “We are keen to use the interest in the launch of Super Rugby to support those impacted and to raise awareness of the relief funds and the different ways people can make donations.”
In addition to the first round activity, the ARU has already donated $50,000 to Disaster relief efforts in Queensland, Australian Super Rugby teams and players have undertaken a number of fund raising initiatives and Wallaby Legend George Smith with the Support of the ARU has put together an amazing “Money Can’t buy Rugby Experience”, which is being auctioned off via GraysOnline.
The Crusaders are putting their weight behind fundraising efforts to support the families of the 29 men killed in the Pike River Mine disaster.
They will have a collection at their round 3 home match against the Waratahs, when they will also play in a special tribute jersey which will be signed by the players and auctioned for the Pike River cause.
In Australia the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) has announced that players will be doing their bit with players choosing to donate some of their match payments, organising money can’t buy experiences and giving up their time to participate in fundraising appeals.
Rugby Union Players Association President, Adam Freier said watching the recent natural disasters unfold, all Australian players were inspired by communities banding together to support each other in their time of need.
“The RUPA is supporting SANZAR’s “Disaster Relief Round” and we are happy to join with the Rugby Communities in NZ and South Africa by donating funds, time and or experiences to the fundraising efforts.”
For more information or to donate to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal visit – www.qld.gov.au
For more information on how to donate to the South African Flood Relief Appeal visit – www.giftofthegivers.co.za
For more information on the George Smith “Money Can’t Buy Rugby Experience” visit – www.graysonline.com.au
For more information or to donate to Rugby Relief and help Rugby Clubs in Queensland visit – www.redsrugby.com.au