Boy's stolen football prompts donations

By Anne-Marie McDonald -
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Tekahu and Te Aronui Hall with their new football gear, donated by Whanganui Police, New Zealand Football and Nike. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY
Tekahu and Te Aronui Hall with their new football gear, donated by Whanganui Police, New Zealand Football and Nike. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY

The power of social media has come to the rescue of a Whanganui boy whose favourite ball was stolen.

Back in August, six-year-old Tekahu Hall was playing with his football on the driveway of his home.

"I accidentally kicked it over the road. Then I saw a lady drive over to it and she picked it up and put it in her car," Tekahu said.

According to his dad, Te Rawi Karamaene, the ball was particularly precious to Tekahu because he had saved up his pocket money to buy it himself. And he'd only had it for three days when it was taken.

"It was a white ball, and he'd decorated it with koru designs in red vivid pen, so everyone would know it was his special ball," Mr Karamaene said.

Tekahu said he made a poster about his ball, and took it to Whanganui police station where staff allowed him to hang it on the wall. Police also had a whip-round among themselves and raised enough money to buy Tekahu a new ball.

But it didn't stop there.

Police shared the incident, and Tekahu's poster, on their social media sites, where it attracted a lot of attention - including from New Zealand Football.

Touched by Tekahu's plight, staff at New Zealand Football arranged with the help of Nike and Whanganui Police to have a box of football gear delivered to Tekahu's house this week. The box contained two Nike balls, a ball pump, New Zealand Football shirts and football boots, for both Tekahu and five-year-old brother Te Aronui.

Mr Karamaene said the new boots were particularly welcome, as both boys loved football but had never owned football boots.

And Tekahu had a message for his generous new friends.

"I'd like to say thanks to the police, and New Zealand Football, and Nike for what they've given us. It's cool."

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