New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is encouraging the rugby community to support the country’s increased vaccination efforts, culminating in 'Super Saturday' this weekend.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson acknowledged that rugby plays an important role in getting more New Zealanders vaccinated.
“Rugby is a part of every community in New Zealand and we need to make sure those communities are safe. For me, getting the vaccine was about protecting my family and knowing I’ve played my part when I’m out on the sideline at my rugby club.
“We’re asking that players, coaches, referees, volunteers and fans look after themselves, their whānau and communities and get vaccinated this week. You can also talk to those around you and encourage them to do the same.”
Robinson paid tribute to the ongoing work that many in the rugby community are doing to increase vaccination rates and protect communities.
“The entire rugby whānau is right behind this, from our national and Super Rugby teams to our Provincial Unions and rugby clubs. We’ve seen some amazing initiatives that are vaccinating thousands of people from Northland to Papatoetoe, across to the East Coast and down into the South Island. A huge thanks has to go to the volunteers and frontline workers.”
Several rugby initiatives are being launched to support increased vaccination rates, including messages of support from the wider rugby community. NZR, Black Ferns and All Blacks social media channels are dedicating time throughout the week to motivate people to get their vaccinations.
All Bunnings Warehouse NPC matches will also continue to promote vaccination messages thanks to NZR’s longstanding broadcast partner Sky.
NZR Deputy Chair Dr Farah Palmer and Board Director Bailey Mackey have both put their support behind the vaccination drive.
Bailey Mackey said “I have seen first-hand within Ngāti Porou on the East Coast what an increased focus on vaccination can do for our communities and the role rugby can play in helping Aotearoa achieve a higher vaccination rate. Let’s protect our whānau. Let’s get vaccinated.”
Dr Farah Palmer said “As a mother, I will do all I can to protect my whānau and getting vaccinated is the best way I can do this. Rugby is a whānau-focused sport and clubs and teams tautoko their members and mates, so let’s do what we can to support our collective wellbeing and get vaccinated.”
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson, Deputy Chair Dr Farah Palmer and Board Director Bailey Mackey are available for Super Saturday media opportunities throughout the week.
You can watch the message of encouragement to the rugby community here. NZR's social media channels will all feature Super Saturday takeovers throughout this week.
Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 years and over can book their free COVID-19 vaccination now: www.bookmyvaccine.nz/
Super Saturday on 16 October is a New Zealand Government initiative to encourage more people to get vaccinated. Vaccine clinics will be open all over the country, all day and into the evening. More information can be found here.