Northland Rugby Union and Alzheimers Northland are joining forces to help improve health and wellbeing in the Northland community.

On September 14 Manawatu will feel the power and the passion of the Taniwha in the third home game of the Mitre 10 Cup competition.

Northland Rugby has designated this game to highlight the work of Alzheimers Northland in supporting people with dementia, and their families, throughout Northland.

The 5.35pm kick off will see players wearing purple socks with ground signs and information material to raise awareness, and volunteers in purple shirts collecting for Alzheimers around the ground.


NRU CEO Alistair McGinn said partnering up was an easy decision.

"We are working closely with Alzheimers Northland because they do such amazing work in helping people who are afflicted with dementia throughout Northland," he said.

"Like Alzheimers Northland, we are also committed to working to improve community's health and wellbeing"

The players and management are all getting behind the charity, committing to finding out how they can make a difference as individuals and a team.

Alzheimers Northland CEO Kevin Salmon is over the moon that Northland Rugby has embraced the charity.

"Northland Rugby Union have been so positive and helpful in providing us with opportunities to showcase Alzheimers Northland and educate people about what we do and more importantly what each individual can do to support not only Alzheimers Northland but also people with dementia," he said.

The partnership will not only help raise awareness for the difference that Alzheimers Northland can make to the lives of Northlanders, it will also raise vital funds to help the organisation achieve their vision that all Northlanders affected by dementia should receive.

Northland Mitre 10 Cup coach Derren Whitcombe said the players will be getting fully on board with the partnership.


"The community coordinators for Alzheimers Northland are running an education programme for the players about the effects of dementia during the rugby season," he said.

"We whole-heartedly support the work of Alzheimers Northland and the squad has undertaken to become "Friends of Dementia" through an online programme".

NZ Herald's Sports Editor at Large Dylan Cleaver wrote extensively about the link between concussions in rugby and dementia as part of The Longest Goodbye.