Rugby: Helping hand for the Spirit

Adam Thomson is a smart man but, as far he was concerned, helping the Otago Spirit was a no-brainer.

Thomson became the prominent face of the campaign to help the Otago women's team raise funds to compete in the national championship.

The Spirit was axed from the programme following the Otago Rugby Football Union's financial collapse, but has raised more than $18,000 and been re-admitted.

Thomson set up a fund-raising account and auctioned a signed Rugby World Cup ball to kick-start the campaign.

"It just really struck a chord with me," the All Black said yesterday.

"The men's rugby cause was well publicised.

"When I heard about the women, it really struck me that those are the players playing for the love of the game.

"It's pure grassroots rugby.

"They deserve an opportunity as much as anyone else.

"I was keen to give something back to a region that has given me so much."

Thomson's latest auction was for the opportunity to have him and four Highlanders team-mates join the successful bidder in a dinner or charity event. It raised $2710.

"I think they want something up in Christchurch. Hopefully we can work something out."


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