The Crusaders will not only play host to the NSW Waratahs in Nelson this Saturday, they’ll also be supporting NSW Rugby’s fundraising efforts for Rural Aid’s Disaster Relief Fund.
NSW Rugby announced their season-long fundraising campaign at their Season Launch on Wednesday night, with a view of supporting rural communities ravaged by drought and fire.
Rural Aid was founded in 2015 to provide a holistic support program to rural Australia, built off the back of the very successful Buy a Bale campaign. Today, Rural Aid boasts a number of wonderful initiatives including, fodder (hay) and domestic water deliveries, financial assistance, Community and Farm Rescue and access to counselling.
There’s already been an almost $3,000 donation from the NSW Waratahs pre-season trial against the Highlanders – with $1 donated per ticket sold.
The Super Rugby squad will also be running an auction of personal sporting memorabilia and money-can’t-buy-experiences which will be launched ahead of their first home game in Newcastle.
As part of the Crusaders contribution, they’ll be donating $1,000 for every try scored – matched by NSWRU – while also taking donations from fans at Trafalgar Park.
Both sides will also be providing a signed jersey for auction following the match.
Waratahs Captain, Rob Simmons thanked the Crusaders for their support.
“It’s an extremely generous offer from the team at the Crusaders and an example of how sport brings people together and becomes a platform to do positive things for those in need,” Simmons said.
“The team at NSW Rugby have been working closely with Rural Aid for some time to get fundraising underway, and when the Crusaders approached us about a [Round 1] fundraiser it was greatly appreciated.
“The team at Rural Aid need all the support they can get right now, they do great work for those who have been impacted by drought over such a long period – you now add the devastation caused by the recent fires and there’s a lot of people who need our help.”
Crusaders CEO, Colin Mansbridge said the side’s first match against the Sydney-based Waratahs is a fitting event to show the club’s heartfelt support for everyone affected by the fires in Australia.
“We reached out to the Waratahs to let them know we wanted to offer our support, and we’re thrilled that we are able to unite these two teams for a very worthy cause.”
Visit ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities.