The start of the 2018 Super 15 Rugby season earlier in the year was also the end of a long time fundraising opportunity for the Rotary Club of Bishopdale.
Since 1996, our Club has been responsible for selling the match programmes at Crusaders home games and has been putting the profits towards worthy Community Projects.
This saw us outside and inside the entrances to the old AMI stadium at Lancaster Park and then the temporary stadium in Addington.
However the times have changed, with smartphones now an everyday tool for most people, the Crusaders Franchise decided at the start of this season that the paper programme was no more. Fans are now able to view the programme online or download player and game information direct from their mobiles.
For 21 years approximately 15-25 Rotarians gave freely of their time at each Crusader home game to sell the paper based programmes.
Whilst it was always a team effort there were two people that were instrumental in ensuring that programmes and sellers were on hand.
Long term Club stalwart Val Smith assisted by his wife Jean – liased with the Crusaders Administration Team each season, ensured that the programmes were available for distribution and our Rotary members were on site. They would then perform the wrap-up after all the programmes had been sold.
In an article in one of the programmes a couple of years ago, Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said the Crusaders have a proud history with Rotary and are pleased to be able to assist them in their fundraising efforts.
of funds to the community
The Club at a function at one of the seasons early games thanked the Cruasaders Management for the fundraising opportunity and thanked the many fans who regularly purchased programmes thereby giving back to the wider Community through our projects
This project over the 21 years raised approximately $170,000 which has been channelled back into the Community and our members contributed over 18.000 person hours.