What has six hands, a solid work-ethic and a whole lot of brawn?

The answer is the three Bay of Plenty Sevens players who volunteered at the Tauranga Community Foodbank yesterday to help during the charity's annual Christmas Appeal.

Reece Macdonald, Will Ngatai and Jordy Stone spent two and a half hours helping the Foodbank with a number of tasks, including divvying up flour and margarine into smaller packets ready to be popped into a food parcel.

The volunteering comes from a partnership between Bay of Plenty Rugby and TECT that gives volunteers at Tauranga Community Foodbank, Blue Light Tauranga and Bay Conservation Alliance free tickets to the TECT National Sevens tournament.

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In exchange, players volunteer at each charity to learn more about the work each charity does.

Bay of Plenty Sevens player Reece Macdonald said he enjoyed helping at the Foodbank during the lead-up to Christmas.

Bay of Plenty Sevens players Will Ngatai (left) and Jordy Stone getting stuck in at the Tauranga Community Foodbank. Photo / George Novak
Bay of Plenty Sevens players Will Ngatai (left) and Jordy Stone getting stuck in at the Tauranga Community Foodbank. Photo / George Novak

"It's cool and pretty eye-opening to see what goes on behind the scenes," he said.

Macdonald said it was important for people to support the Christmas Appeal, either by donating time, money or food.

"It's rewarding to give back to the community. Every bit helps."

Tauranga Community Foodbank manager, Nicki Goodwin, said the players helped with tasks that appeared menial but were of immense help to the Foodbank.

Bay of Plenty Sevens player Will Ngatai helping out at the Tauranga Community Foodbank. Photo / George Novak
Bay of Plenty Sevens player Will Ngatai helping out at the Tauranga Community Foodbank. Photo / George Novak

"Time is priceless. Everything the players helped out with was one less thing a foodbank volunteer had to do."

She said the foodbank volunteers were incredibly grateful for the free tickets.

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"Year after year, week after week, they help without expecting anything in return."

TECT marketing and communications manager, Laura Thomson-Bache, said volunteer help was vital to keep community charities, like the Foodbank, running and able to help the community.

Thomson-Bache said the player's volunteering was an opportunity for players to see how the Foodbank worked and set a good example for the throngs of youngsters who looked up to the players.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union community engagements and events co-ordinator, Marion Foltz, said the players were used to seeing volunteers at sports events so it was a good opportunity for them to get stuck in and help to appreciate the work volunteers did themselves.

The TECT National Sevens tournament will take place at Tauranga Domain on December 14 and 15.