The Blues’ ‘Best Foot Forward’ boot recycling initiative launched earlier this year is being given a kick along by BNZ.
The bank has become a major partner of the community programme to collect pre-loved boots for re-distribution to worthy recipients at clubs and schools in the Blues’ region.
BNZ stores will become the main collection point for donated boots and its staff will join with Blues players to clean up and re-lace the footwear for re-gifting.
BNZ Director of Retail and Marketing Paul Carter says the bank was impressed with the community nature of #BluesBFF and the push to ensure youngsters can play rugby regardless of financial circumstances.
“A real focus for us is ensuring that everything we do is aimed towards enabling a high achieving New Zealand”, Carter said, “and partnering with the #BluesBFF certainly allows us to work towards this goal.”
“It’s fantastic to see such a positive opportunity for young players to help their fellow players and I would encourage anyone who is in the position to donate their boots to do so.”
BNZ now has collection bins in most stores across Auckland and Northland but boots can be dropped into any BNZ store around New Zealand and they will be passed on to the Blues for repurposing.
Blues General Manager Brand & Community Robyn Rowley believes BNZ’s support will help the boot drive grow significantly.
“The pilot programme touched the hearts of players and the community, but we identified logistical support and greater awareness as ‘work ons’,” Rowley said. “With BNZ’s assistance we now have a convenient network of collection bins and a respected voice that touches the corporate world and the wider community.”
Rowley says Yakult, manufacturer of the Yakult fermented milk drink, will continue to be the #BluesBFF presenting partner and Blues and All Black legend Keven Mealamu is a proud ambassador of the Best Foot Forward programme.
Mealamu has first-hand experience of the benefits of boot recycling. As an Aorere College student he was thrilled to be given a pair of boots by former All Black Eric Rush.
“That moment inspired Keven and now he’s doing the same for the next generation,” Rowley said. “When you talk about putting your best foot forward in training and in life, no-one encapsulates that better than Keven, so we’re humbled to have his support.”