Guildford trust gears up


The memories flooded back for Hawke's Bay All Black Zac Guildford as he saw the smiles on the faces of the inaugural recipients of grants from his late father's trust on Saturday.

Memories not only of his father, Rob Guildford, who died of a heart attack shortly after watching his son score two tries as New Zealand beat England 44-28 in the final of the 2009 Under-20 World Cup in Tokyo but also memories of his youth.

"I remember when I was the same age as these kids and one of mum's bosses, Colin Campbell, bought me my first pair of flash boots to play in," Guildford recalled.

"It's great to see the smiles on these kids faces and be in a position to help them out as much as possible. We're hoping this will become an annual event."

The six recipients had $400 to spend at a sports store. Once they got a rugby bag, rugby ball and a mouthguard they could buy whatever they wanted with the change.

For Napier Boys' High School New Zealand under-17 squad member Luke McKenna the shopping spree completed a memorable buildup to Christmas.

Earlier this month he was named top forward and player-of-the-course at an International Rugby Academy of New Zealand advanced player course in Palmerston North.

Napier Boys' High School touch and rugby player Josh McNeill has a long-term goal of playing in the NRL for the Warriors and said the new gear will be a huge boost to his quest.

William Colenso College rugby player and volleyballer Junior Tupu said his gear will come in handy when he returns to school for his year 12 pursuits next year. He wants to be a policeman.

Tamatea High School's Harlem Ferrall want to continue playing 1st XV rugby and touch for his school next year. He is also keen on a career as a league player.

The Flaxmere College pair of Tyrone Henare and Ngawaka Heremia-Harriman play a variety of sports and were so happy to be among the trust's inaugural recipients they performed popular Ngati Kahungunu haka Tika Tonu for Guildford and fellow members of his family.

Guildford's uncle Daren Guildford said the trust is aimed at supporting a Bay youngster from any code who under normal circumstances wouldn't be able to afford to travel to a national tournament.

"If mum and dad can't pay for everything we can assist them ... there could be another Zac Guildford coming through the ranks," he said.

Donations to the trust can be sent to:

The Rob Guildford Memorial Trust

Private Bag 6018

Hawke's Bay Mail Centre

Napier 4142

- Hawkes Bay Today

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