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2 November 2017 at 10.30

Rugby Foundation

On Saturday 11 November a very special fundraising event takes place at Sky City Hamilton to fundraise for injured rugby player Braden Coates.

The event has been organized through a collaboration of six rugby clubs, associated with Braden and his family, the NZ Rugby Foundation and the Waikato Rugby Union. It has been great to see so many people from diverse groups coming together to support one of their own, in a time of need.

The Rugby Foundation and Committee has done a fantastic job securing a terrific line up of speakers, auction items and contributions for the night. Raconteur James McOnie will frontline as MC. During the evening All Black great Bryan Williams will share the stage with VIP (Very Injured Player) # 30 Ross Ormsby who was injured on 3 July 1984 at age 17 playing rugby for Te Awamutu College. Ross has gone on to achieve extraordinary things in his life.   This will followed by Sir Graham Henry being interview by the MC and the evening will finish up with the inimitable talent of Eric Rush.

On Saturday 1 July Braden Coates, was doing what thousands of people do every weekend, enjoying a club game with his mates playing for Southern United against Taupiri RFC, at Taupiri.  Tragically Braden experienced a neck injury which has left him paralyzed.

There was no intent, or malice in the incident. Unfortunately Braden was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was tackled and was getting back to his feet, when, a concurrent tackle resulted in two other players falling on top of him.  His level of injury is C5/6.

Braden is an incredibly positive 25-year-old share milker. He is upbeat and aims to, in time, be back on the farm doing what he loves. He may be doing it differently.

Braden has made fantastic progress to date, and last week he discharged from the Auckland Spinal Unit last week to his grandparents’ home in Mount Manganui.

A Local Organising Committee (LOC) is made up of representatives from the New Zealand Rugby Foundation, Southern United Rugby Football Club, Hinuera RFC, Putaruru RFC, Taupiri RFC, Te Kauwhata, Hamilton Old Boys, and the Waikato Rugby Union. That there are so many clubs involved is testament to Braden’s large network of friends and his wonderful Mum, Dad and sisters.

The generosity from the community has been extra-ordinary. Monteiths and Yealands Family wines have been very generous with assisting with the beverages for the night. To date there are approximately 20 live auction items, and approximately 60 silent auction items. There are signed jerseys from the British and Irish Lions thanks to Warren Gatland, All Blacks jersey thanks to Sam Cane, Crusaders jersey thanks to Seta Tamanivalu and Crusaders squad to name a few, hunting trips, overseas trips to Rarotonga and Coolongatta to name a few. Even a signed Ian Jones tour shirt donated from a young Hinuera player, Archie Hazlett, who took it off his bedroom wall. There are unfortunately too many contributors to mention, and the committee continues to be astounded by the willingness to help. If a member of the public wishes to check out what is available and interested in bidding on an item prior to the event, they can be viewed here bucks4braden. There are clear instructions on each item.

There are still a few seats available which can be purchased individually. For information please call Nathan Robinson on 027 405 3211 or on email

The NZRF provides life-long support and partnership to catastrophically injured players and their families, financially and emotionally, through all stages of their injury rehabilitation – for life.

Contact:         Lisa Kingi-Bon / CEO / 0212127399