Hamilton’s Soccer United football supplies shop has clubbed together with the Wellington Phoenix women’s team to raise over $1000 for the Waikato Women’s Refuge.
The funds were gathered from raffling off a Phoenix women’s team shirt, signed by all the players, at $5 a ticket.
The end result was a cheque for $1050.00 being presented to Waikato Women’s Refuge chief executive Roni Albert.
And Waikato football product Michaela Foster, who has emerged as one of the Phoenix’s stand-out players this season after previously working as a teacher at Hamilton Girls’ High, was on hand to make the presentation at the organisation’s Liverpool St headquarters.
The raffle was organised by Soccer United principal Brooke Macdonald – a long-time supporter of Waikato Women’s Refuge – and won by a Cambridge woman Jocelyn Phillips who is understood to be donating the shirt to the Cambridge Football Club.
Macdonald expects the shirt to accrue sports memorabilia value quickly. The Phoenix women were unable to play any matches at home in their inaugural season last summer through Covid restrictions, meaning this shirt captures the signatures of the very first women’s professional football team to play in New Zealand.
Albert was delighted with the donation and said it would be spent on the refuge’s activities such as daily food parcels, where disbursements have topped 25,000 since last March, with the agency attracting up to 50 referrals a day from families in need.
“It’s also been really neat to meet Michaela and I will now follow her sporting career with much interest,” Albert said.
Foster, who is also the daughter of All Black coach Ian Foster, said such charity and community promotions were a component part of life with the Phoenix and she was pleased to be able to play a part in investing in the Waikato community.
Meanwhile Soccer United, based in Alexandra St, has also donated footballs and games for the use of children in the refuge’s safe houses.
Waikato Women's Refuge provides a 24-hour crisis phone service (07 855 1569) and a safe and caring environment for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The services provided include grants of furniture, clothing or food, safe housing, childcare assistance, and advocacy support.