Halswell Hornets answer call to help Tonga

Budding rugby league players in volcano-ravaged Tonga will soon be running around in Halswell Hornets colours.

The Halswell Hornets Rugby League Club is sending 85 jerseys to Tonga as part of the wider donation drive following the January 15 eruption and tsunami.

Club secretary Michelle Harding said members had heard donations were being sought.

“We as a club thought that we would send some rugby league football jerseys over to them.”  

Tonga has become a force in world rugby league, with many playing at top level in New Zealand and in the NRL in Australia.

Halswell Hornets Rugby League Club secretary Michelle Harding and president Devon Harding with...
Halswell Hornets Rugby League Club secretary Michelle Harding and president Devon Harding with one of the 85 surplus club jerseys bound for Tonga. Photo: Star Media
The Halswell players would like to see the jerseys used by a counterpart in Tonga, Harding said.

“We’ve got surplus old jerseys that we no longer use. We sorted them out and we’ve got enough probably to donate five teams.”

Two of these sets were junior jerseys, suitable for those aged six to 16, while the other three sets were senior jerseys for adults.

A search and rescue team combs through the wreckage in Haatafu on the western coast of Tonga's...
A search and rescue team combs through the wreckage in Haatafu on the western coast of Tonga's main island Tongatapu. Photo: Getty Images
While they were over five years old, the jerseys were in good condition and had probably only been used for one season before going into storage, Harding said.

New seasons meant new club sponsors and therefore new jerseys for players to wear, but the outdated kit was still wearable.

The old uniforms were in storage at the club’s old Halswell Domain clubrooms. However, the rooms were being cleared out as members prepared to move into new $2 million clubrooms.

The much-awaited clubrooms will replace the current earthquake-damaged ones, with a shift anticipated in the next two months.
 

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