It is a case of "these boots were made for playing" and thanks to the generosity of the Hawke's Bay community, a lot more young people will now be able to achieve their playing dreams.

The third annual Hawke's Bay Today 'Bring Yer Boots' campaign, which is staged in conjunction with Sport Hawke's Bay, wrapped up last Friday and the result has left all those who drove it delighted.

"This has been the first year I have been involved with this although I did follow the past ones on Facebook,' Sport Hawke's Bay commercial manager Ryan Hambleton said.

"It has been such an exciting thing to be involved in and it really shows the generosity and support from people all across the Bay."


The first two campaigns saw many hundreds of pairs of boots dropped off at Hawke's Bay Today's offices in Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau and Dannevirke and this year's campaign, going by the mountain of boots and sports shoes which has grown in one of the Hastings storage rooms, has proven to be another very successful one.

Around 600 pairs of boots, and some trainers, have been dropped in.

Mr Hambleton said he had been buoyed to hear so many "thank you" stories from young recipients to members of Sport Hawke's Bay's education team which oversees the distribution.

"It's just great to hear because it means a lot of these kids can now get out there and play and that's what it's all about."

The education team worked in with schools to identify where there was a need - where there were children whose parents or caregivers were going through tough times and needed some help in getting their youngsters set up for sport.

"We have also touched base with the sports clubs."

He said if someone was deemed to need support on the sporting front "we'll look at it".

Mr Hambleton said before the campaign was first sparked three years ago many people would simply just put away unwanted boots.

"And the kids see that generosity and they remember it."

Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin said the paper was again delighted to be involved in such a rewarding and community-embracing project.

"We have been amazed by the response once again," Mr Austin said.

"Thanks to our readers for their generosity - many youngsters will now have the opportunity to play sport."

Mr Austin also paid tribute to Sport Hawke's Bay for their role in distributing the footwear.

The boots were now in the process of being boxed and shifted for cleaning and sorting.

"Everyone here from the education team, the sports development team and management - we're all getting stuck in - it's such a nice thing to be involved with," Mr Hambleton said.

Distribution to the new owners will begin through their schools across the region next week.