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Chatham Islands team-building tour generates interest

Chatham Islands

Athletic Rugby Football Club has come up with a novel way to recruit players for the upcoming 2020 season — a tour to the Chatham Islands.

Club players old and new have been fundraising — crutching sheep, splitting firewood, and cooking up kai — to help pay for the pre-season rugby getaway.

Athletic player/manager Luke Howe said fellow team member Tyson Kamo came up with the idea.

“Tyson is from the Chatham Islands and thought a trip would be good for team-building. He's organised a bunch of activities for us, including a hunting expedition for wild pig, wild cattle and weka. There'll be diving and fishing, and a game of rugby thrown in for good measure.”

To top it off, Howe said the final day of their tour coincides with the Chatham Islands Food Festival where they'll chow down on some of the finest cuisine of the Chatham Islands.

The 27-strong tour party, made up of players and supporters, will embark on their week-long adventure on March 1.

The fundraising continues this Saturday with an ambrose golf tournament at the Wairoa Golf Club teeing off at 1pm.

Event organiser Moss Doran said, “The Wairoa Golf Club have jumped on board to support us, letting us use their great facilities.

“It's going to be an awesome day. Everyone is welcome. Teams can turn up on the day, or anyone who wants to take part can just come along and see one of the Athletic crew . . . they'll find a team for you to join. It's $25 a team.”

Howe says the Chatham Islands trip has generated a lot of interest and more activity at the club.

“There are also more young guys around,” he said.

“It really depends on how many new shepherds who play rugby move into the district.

“We have been training on Thursday nights and are looking forward to the 2020 Poverty Bay competition.” — Wairoa Star