Bay of Plenty Rugby chief executive Mike Rogers wants "to make this community a better place through sport".

With that in mind, the province's rugby union is using its sponsorship arrangements at the National Sevens in a fortnight to involve charities that play a key role in Tauranga.

"It costs Bay of Plenty Rugby $550,000 to run the sevens. Our main sponsors for the tournament are TECT but we can't take money from an organisation like that without giving back to the community in some way."

So Rogers' organisation has partnered with three charities – Riding for the Disabled, Good Neighbour and Coastguard.


Players and officials from both the men's and women's Bay sevens teams are visiting each of those charities to find out more about the work they do and offer some assistance.

In return, Bay of Plenty Rugby will offer free tickets to the National Sevens at Tauranga Domain on the weekend of December 15-16 to volunteers from all three charities.

"We want to make people more aware of what these charities do," says Rogers.

The presence of the three charities at the tournament will all add to the festive atmosphere that he's hoping to create when the National Sevens is played here for the first time.

"We're looking at things like giant water slides, petting zoos, lots of activities, lots of good food.

"We think it's going to be a festival of sport and activity, rather than just a rugby event."