19 February 2020


A WEST Coast Kotuku Rugby XI will face a West Coast All Star XI in a charity T20 cricket match this Saturday, to raise funds and awareness for mental health.

The T20 Coast Clash is on at 12.30pm at Arthur Fong Park in Blaketown and will bring together West Coast rugby talent, as well as high profile West Coasters from all different backgrounds for the All Star XI.

Organisers hope West Coasters can come together to enjoy a fun family day out, while enjoying the cricket, as well as hearing some prominent Coasters share positive messages around mental health and well-being.

Co-organiser Adam Gilshnan said the response from people wanting to be involved has been incredible.

“Everyone we’ve spoken to from rugby players, the West Coast Cricket Association, to both Grey and Westland district mayors, have been overwhelmingly supportive, and it’s great that we can use sport as a vehicle to try and bring West Coasters together to support one another around an issue that is important to us all”.

Gilshnan said it is hoped a village green type feel can be made at the park, and people will be encouraged to bring their own picnics and marquees, to help create a wonderful atmosphere. Activities have been planned for the children, including face painting, a bouncy castle.

Brendan Marshall from West Coast Cricket, another member of the organising team, said Canterbury Cricket is bringing their interactive inflatables over for the day.

“I’d anticipate there’ll be even more people at Arthur Fong Park on Saturday, so the cricket fraternity are so excited that people are getting together to play cricket and highlight such an important cause” Marshall said.

Kotuku’s rugby XI player Troy Tauwhare said his fellow rugby players are thrilled to be involved, as in the past young men in particular have not really talked about their feelings when they have been struggling, but lately that has been changing, and they would like to help foster an environment when men are more comfortable talking about issues they are having.

The two charities to benefit from the match are the NZ Mental Health Foundation and West Coast-based suicide awareness group Shining Light on the Dark.

Spokesman Ashley Cassin is delighted that Shining Light on the Dark has been named as a beneficiary of the event, where funds raised will go to help grow and develop the Coast resilience in educating and empowering communities to support their members better.

Entry is free, though people will be encouraged to donate to the buckets that will be going around the venue. Raffles and a silent auction will also be a part of the fundraising activities, and a givealittle page has also been set up to help raise funds which West Coasters are encouraged to donate to givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/t20-coast-clash

A facebook page, @T20CoastClash has also been set up for the event.