As winter sport kicks off today, many children will be running on to the field in a new pair of boots.

The community answered the call and donated about 600 pairs of football boots and sports shoes to the Hawke's Bay Today Bring Yer Boots campaign.

The campaign, run in conjunction with Sports Hawke's Bay, was a resounding success.

The first two campaigns saw hundreds of pairs of boots dropped off at offices in Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau and Dannevirke, and this year's campaign saw a mountain of shoes pile up in the Hastings storage room.


Sport Hawke's Bay started distributing boots yesterday at Heretaunga Intermediate School.

Students lined up patiently as they were handed a pair of boots.

Friends swapped shoes until they found the right fit, excitedly tied up the laces and took them for a test run up and down the field.

Principal Michael Sisam said the school was very lucky to be receiving some of the donated boots on the eve of the winter sports season.

His students shyly smiled at the Sport Hawke's Bay's primary school development officer Sally McKenzie and quietly thanked her for their new boots.

Ms McKenzie told the children it was thanks to the generosity of the community that they could take home a pair of boots.

Some got the traditional black boots while other stepped out in green, red and yellow.

A few lucky children were given brand-new boots that had been bought specifically for the campaign.

Ms McKenzie was on hand to make sure all went home with the right size.

She said it was great these children would be able to start the season in properly fitting boots.

There were a lot of grateful children who now had boots to wear and show their talent in, she said.

"A really big thank you to the Hawke's Bay community for the 600 pairs of boots we have received."

The community's generosity had been "overwhelming", she said.

The Sport Hawke's Bay education team worked with schools and sports clubs to identify where there was a need.

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."