Whilst they might be rivals on the field, both the Newcastle Knights and the New Zealand Warriors are coming together for a cause that is still deeply etched in the minds of the entire NZ population, as they play a charity match to raise funds for the West Coast region.
Both Wayne Scurrah and Steve Burraston, the Warriors and Knights Chief Executives respectively, have expressed their desire to do something about the cause as they wish to provide financial aid to the region, and lift up their spirits in light of the tragic circumstances.
In what will be a colloboration between the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League, all funds raised from the match will be distributed by both teams to the Pike River mining relief fund, and to West Coast Rugby League.
“This has been a terrible time for the people of West Coast and for all New Zealanders,” Scurrah said.
“We were determined to do what we could to provide some support and we’re really pleased the Knights have been able to join us in making this event possible, especially with Newcastle’s common link with the West Coast through the mining industry.”
For Knights Chief Executive Steve Burraston, he sees the match set to take place on the 5th February in Greymouth as an opportunity to help lift spirits in the community, as well as to raise funds.
“As a club that has been built on coal mining, in a town that was founded by the same industry, we feel it is our duty to support those who support us.”
Tony Kokshoorn, Grey District mayor said that the chance for the community to see so many high profile NRL players and athletes will only do wonders for the community, and that their spirits will no doubt be boosted as a result.