Unison joins ‘Hawke’s Bay Leaders Circle’ to back the Black Sticks
Date: 28 September 2011
Unison has partnered with 22 Hawke’s Bay organisations, in a world first, to send the New Zealand national hockey teams, the Black Sticks Men and Women, to the 2012 London Olympics.
The following media release was issued today by Hockey New Zealand.
Wednesday 28 September, 2011 – In a world first, a community has joined together to sponsor a national sports team in its quest for Olympic glory. The Hawke’s Bay have partnered with New Zealand''s national hockey teams – the Black Sticks Men and Women - to give them all the support they need to take on the world’s best teams next year in London.
This truly unique sponsorship agreement is the brainchild of Vector Arena co-owner and the man behind the phenomenally successful ‘Walking with the Dinosaurs’, Bruce Mactaggart. A hockey fan, he was looking for a way to get the Black Sticks the financial support they needed, while at the same time, galvanising a community and all its resources behind them.
Bruce and Robyn Mactaggart along with Hastings businesswoman, Jenni Giblin and Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule assembled a group of some of the region’s most influential and forward thinking residents.
They assembled at a local winery where Mactaggart outlined his vision for Hawke’s Bay becoming the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks, "While I personally believed this was a great notion, I obviously wasn’t sure if others would agree with me! But in my view, the potential for global exposure for Hawke’s Bay and the opportunity to drive this community forward was too good to miss," says Mactaggart.
Right then and there this group of 23 leaders committed to writing out the cheques necessary to initiate the sponsorship "this is not just about hockey – it’s about what is possible when a community comes together, how we can unite and use all our resources, financial and intellectual to support our national team while also galvanising and supporting our own community," Mactaggart says.
For the team, it offers them the financial support needed for them to focus on being the best they can be in the lead up to the London Olympics, but also much more.
“The way in which this community has unanimously got behind the Black Sticks is extraordinary. It is not just a cheque, the Black Sticks are getting the support and energy of an entire community and over the next year as they build to the Olympics, that will be incredibly powerful," says Poole.
Hawke’s Bay will play host to an induction weekend from 25-27 November as well as team training camps next year. The Black Sticks will also visit schools, businesses and community organisations in the region.
Mayor of Hastings Lawrence Yule sees it as a fantastic opportunity to take the Hawke’s Bay ‘brand’ to the world.
“While we couldn’t have commenced this initiative without the fantastic financial support of the initial Hawke’s Bay ‘leaders’; we are going to look for ways to engage the entire Hawke’s Bay community to support the Black Sticks as they prepare in their ‘quest to be the best’ at the London Olympics in 2012”, says Mayor Yule.
“We see this partnership as a unique and innovative way to promote Hawke’s Bay – and the opportunities to live, work, invest and play here - to the world! This region truly is an amazing place with amazing people!’ says Mayor Yule.
Black Stick’s vice captain Shea McAleese grew up in Hawke’s Bay and knows how supportive the community is.
“The Hawke’s Bay is a pretty special place to come from – the community has been really supportive of me over the years. To have 23 leaders back us and to have the support from the wider community over the upcoming months is huge for the Black Sticks, it will make a big difference,” says McAleese.
Both Black Sticks teams leave for Hobart this Saturday where they will compete in the Oceania Olympic Qualifier against Australia. The Oceania region has two Olympic allocations courtesy of world rankings for both men and women and with Fiji having pulled out; it gives Australia and New Zealand automatic qualification to the London Olympics.
The Black Sticks Men then take on the best in the world at the Champions Trophy from the 3-11 December. The event which is screened to more than 38 million around the world, recently relocated to Auckland after India lost the rights to host it.
Hawke’s Bay Leaders Circle
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