The Wakatipu premier rugby team sporting its pink playing
strip. Photo by Joanne Carroll.
It is out with the blue and in with the pink.
The Wakatipu premier rugby team is donning a pink strip this
year, with jerseys and socks in the most feminine of colours,
as the side raises funds for breast cancer.
The team, which normally wears a predominantly light blue
strip, will debut the new look tomorrow, when it takes on
Upper Clutha in the curtain-raiser to the Super 14 match at
the Queenstown Events Centre.
Team captain Damian Petre said when the idea was first raised
most of the players thought it was a good idea, and got on
"The colour of the jerseys shouldn't really have much impact
on how you play the game. I'm sure the props will be happy,
as long as it covers their bellies," Petre said.
"Some guys were a bit anxious when we first started, but they
got over it pretty quickly. I suppose it will look a bit
better in the backs."
Petre, a centre, said it was for a good cause, although he
expected to get a bit of ribbing from opponents.
The idea originated from club member Jeremy Drake, who was a
family friend of Claire Walker, who suffered from breast
cancer and died in September last year.
He brought some pink boots to training, and then discussion
began about going the whole way.
The strip was produced by Leslie Rugby, and will be worn only
for home games.
It is not the first time a rugby side has worn pink. French
club side Stade Francais introduced pink jerseys a few years
ago, though that was more to do with self-promotion than a
Wakatipu club president Damien O'Connell said the side, which
finished third in the Central Otago competition last year,
wanted to raise funds for a good cause instead of usually
having to go round and find sponsors for its own commitments.
"I'm sure the guys might get a bit of a ribbing from other
players, but it is all for a good cause. It is something
different but everyone has been really encouraging."
The club has come up with a dollar-a-point sponsorship
scheme, and will also be running a collection at tomorrow's
Super 14 game at Queenstown Events Centre. They will also be
auctioning a pink jersey signed by the All Blacks, and will
sell the jerseys at the end of the season.
Chief club sponsor Rilean Construction will pink-wrap all its
construction sites in Queenstown before every home game.
New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation executive trustee
Heather Shotter was delighted with the pink jersey idea and
said funds raised would go towards expanding programmes to
fight breast cancer.