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Goldfields students, David Harrison, centre, and TVRFU game development officer James Higgins, left, with the $20,000 cheque. Photo: GORDON PREECE

$20,000 raised from Swampfox socks

Thames Valley Rugby Union offloaded $20,000 to Goldfields School on December 2 to go towards new projects to support its 87 students.
Thames Valley Swampfoxes head coach David Harrison told The Profile it was the fifth year the union had donated to the Paeroa school, with funds raised this year through sales of supporter socks.
“We’ve been doing jersey auctions I think the last four seasons and I think there’s only so much of the one thing you can do, so we tried to change it up,” he said.
“There’s only 22 jerseys that people could win in auction and the socks were $20 so it hopefully gave more people the opportunity to be a part of it.
“A lot of them knew the money was going towards Goldfields so that was pretty awesome to be able to support that.”
David said just under 1000 pairs of socks were sold and the union topped it up to give the donation an even score of $20,000.
He said the team also continued to strengthen its relationship this year with the school.
“We brought all our players into the school [in September] and it was really cool to spend some time in the classrooms with the teachers and the students and our players get a taste of why we do it, the cause that we’re supporting and it’s always special,” he said.
“Even players who had been in the team before they get to reconnect and the new ones can see what it’s all about and understand why we do it.”
Goldfields School principal Cam McKenzie said the donation was a bonus point as the partnership the school had with the team and the union was important.
“The players are role models to the students and I think the students are role models to them,” he said.
“Every year we work on ways to make [the relationship] better and we work on engaging the students more and the players meeting the students so they know who they’re playing for and the students love it when they come into school.”
Mr McKenzie said some of donated funds would go towards a new school library called the Foxes Den, which is planned to open in February.
“It’s going to have the Swampfoxes logo on the front door and a mural inside with a fox on it and a place for students from all across the school to go and read, do literacy and be around books,” he said.
“[It will cost] around $3500 but that will be ongoing because books will be bought overtime and books would need to be replaced.
“We’re going to invite the Swampfoxes and a kaumātua to open the room.”
Mr McKenzie said the remaining funds would go towards another school van with the Swampfoxes logo on it, which is planned to hit the streets early next year.
The union donated $30,000 to Goldfields School last year, which was used to purchase a new school van in March.