More than 300 Northland hockey players have taken 2 for the team by getting vaccinated against Covid 19 at the weekend.
On Saturday Hockey Northland became the first organisation to get more than 300 people vaccinated as part of the Northland-wide "Take 2 for The Team" initiative. They were among 675 vaccinations done under the programme last week.
Hockey Northland teamed up with Ngāti Hine Health and the Whanau Ora vaccination 'battalion' at McKay Stadium in Whangārei to get the vaccinations through, earning itself more than $3000 in the process.
The money will be divided equally between the three hockey clubs who turned up on the day to support the event - Mangapai, Springfield and Maungakaramea. They hope to use it to reduce membership fees and encourage more people to play.
"We were very happy indeed with the event and its results," Hockey Northland's operations manager Glen Alderton said.
"The fact that we had such strong support from the hockey community, both past and present, shows that the spirit of the game is alive and well in our region. There was masses of inter-club rivalry between all the hockey folk who pulled up in their cars to get their jabs. It was great to see."
"Take 2 for The Team" sees sporting clubs and schools earn $10 for every vaccination they introduce to any one of the eight Māori health providers serving the region.
The initiative is led by Rugby for Life, a charity that uses the networks and influence of the Northland Rugby Union and the Northland rugby community to create health, education and employment opportunities for communities in all corners of Northland.
It is run in partnership with the Northland Māori health provider network. It is designed to reach all Northlanders but its primary focus is Māori and Pasifika communities.
Rugby for Life spokesman Martin Cleave said club rugby was an ideal vehicle to reach these communities in Northland because they comprise 63 per cent of the region's club rugby players aged 12 years and older.
But as Saturday showed, the programme is spreading beyond rugby. There are now 58 sporting clubs signed up covering softball, walking, golf, hockey, soccer, bowls and tennis. Two high schools, Kerikeri and Dargaville, are also participating.
The event capped off a remarkable week for the programme last week. On Tuesday an event at Waipū Rugby Club delivered 89 jabs, on Thursday Whangaruru Rugby Club delivered 59, and on Friday Tikipunga Rugby Club and Hora Hora Rugby Club introduced 80 and 113 jabs each.
"That's $6750 going back into these sporting clubs and the communities they support," said Riki Kinnard, Rugby for Life trustee.
"That's an awesome few days of work that everyone involved in the Take 2 for The Team initiative, particularly club organisers and the vaccination teams at our Maori Health Provider partners, can be immensely proud of."
People can get vaccinated through the "Take 2 for The Team" programme in four easy steps: go to the fancy map at www.take2fortheteam.kiwi (scroll down to the bottom to find the map); select a participating school or sporting club to support; go and get vaccinated at the nearest Māori Health Provider on the map; tell the vaccinating staff that they are there as part of the "Take 2 for The Team" initiative and that they want their $10 to go to whichever school or club they have selected.