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Coach David ‘Harry’ Harrison, right, presents Cameron McKenzie with the donation. Photo: DAVIDDA HIKATANGATA

Swamp Foxes donate $16k to Goldfields School

Building a strong friendship with students and staff at Goldfields School is important for the Thames Valley Swamp Foxes, who donated $16,200 to the school on December 15.
Swamp Fox Coach David ‘Harry’ Harrison, who presented the cheque at the school’s final assembly, said it was amazing to see what the school had done with previous Swamp Fox donations.
“Seeing the library, seeing the van, seeing all the things, the pool – it’s amazing,” he said.
“I hope this helps again, and we’ll be back.
“We’re definitely not stopping, we love it.”
The Swamp Foxes raised the money by auctioning off rugby jerseys the team had played in against Ngāti Porou East Coast on September 30.
“We got a win that day, which I’m sure added some value to them [the jerseys].”

Harry said the special thing about the jerseys was the Goldfields School logo printed on the back, “so it was with us every game, everywhere we went, that was really special to us as a team”.
On the field, Harry said: “we want to be as successful as possible”, but off the field, community was “a big thing” for the Swamp Foxes.
“This connection with Goldfields School is such an important part of our community.
“We want to inspire our people to want to watch us play rugby. That’s a big part of it.”
Harry said spending time at the school was something really valuable to him and the team, and an annual visit to see the kids had become part of their pre-season camp.
“When you actually form those connections and you see kids and staff – you’ve got a bond,” he said.
The students had started recognising the team colours and some of the team members, he said.

“Players that have been in the team [for] a few years recognise the students, which is really cool. They feel comfortable being here,” he said.
Goldfields School principal Cameron McKenzie said two rugby jerseys donated to the school were “the right size for us to gift to our leavers” during the assembly.
The relationship between the school and the players had become “more organic, more natural”, and that some of the students weren’t just rugby fanatics but “more like actual Swamp Fox fanatics”, he said.
“It’s recognition that we’re part of the community, and that we’re an important part of the community and they make us feel important,” he said.
“That’s probably the best part.”