Christchurch Schoolchildren Travel by Road, Rail and Sea for Romania-Georgia RWC Match
MasterCard, NZ 2011 Initiative Brings Children from Earthquake Affected Region to Meet Their Adopted Rugby World Cup Team
Auckland, 28 September 2011 - Fifteen students affected by the Christchurch earthquakes have had a priceless Rugby World Cup 2011 experience, courtesy of MasterCard and the NZ 2011 when they met their adopted team Romania yesterday.
Students from Christchurch's Chisnallwood Intermediate School won the memorable RWC 2011 experience, after winning a school-to-school challenge to Adopt a Second Team for the Tournament.
Alongside MasterCard, contributions from local businesses made the children's journey from Christchurch by road, sea and rail earlier this week possible.
The students had a special behind-the-scenes look at the final training session of the Romanian team at the Captain's Run at Arena Manuwatu in Palmerston North. The students enjoyed a VIP stadium tour with Rugby World Cup 2011 representatives where they got a sneak peek into the team changing rooms and media centre before watching their new Romanian heroes train.
Following the Captain's Run the students were surprised by the players and management from the Romanian team who joined them outside the stadium to autograph caps and T-shirts and pose for photos with the students.
Attending the Captain’s Run is just the start of a weeklong adventure for the Christchurch students, experiencing the RWC 2011 after Christchurch missed out on hosting matches due to the devastating February earthquake.
On Wednesday night, students from Masterton Intermediate School, winners of their school's Adopt a Second Team challenge, will join the Chisnallwood pupils to support their adopted team, Georgia, at the Romania vs. Georgia clash at Arena Manuwatu in Palmerston North.
Both experiences, part of MasterCard's Worldwide Partnership with RWC 2011, were intended to provide the students with unforgettable Rugby memories. MasterCard’s New Zealand Country Manager Albert Naffah said that these are just a couple of the ways MasterCard is connecting the country's youngest rugby fans with their sporting heroes. "We're thrilled to be able to give children from around the country opportunities like this throughout RWC 2011."
"It has been particularly significant that MasterCard has been able to help children from earthquake-affected Christchurch to fully experience the RWC after Christchurch was unable to host matches following February's earthquake. It has been amazing to see a whole community come together to make this priceless opportunity come true," Mr. Naffah said.
"This is a wonderful example of how communities are truly getting in behind RWC 2011 by supporting the visiting teams and fans, but also of how the hearts and minds of New Zealanders continue to be with people going through hard times in Christchurch," said director of the New Zealand 2011 Office, Leon Grice.
The fifteen lucky students from each school were selected for the challenge prize of the RWC 2011 tickets and a five-day adventure break in the Wairarapa after coming up with the best creative and colourful ideas on how to show support for their adopted teams.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities—such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances—easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at mastercard.com or follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews
MasterCard & Rugby World Cup 2011
MasterCard Worldwide is an Official Worldwide Partner and the official payment system of Rugby World Cup 2011. The company leverages the platform to further deliver shareholder value by creating exclusive business-building opportunities for its customer financial institutions, while building MasterCard brand affinity by offering priceless experiences to MasterCard cardholders. As part of its agreement, MasterCard secures a comprehensive rights and benefits package that allows the company to deliver value to customer financial institutions, merchants and cardholders, including the ability to access "Priceless" experiences linked to Rugby World Cup 2011.
Rugby World Cup is the crown jewel of the sport and a prominent global property-with television coverage of Rugby World Cup 2007 spanning more than 200 territories, reaching a cumulative audience of 4.3 billion viewers. Rugby World Cup 2011 is being held in New Zealand for the first time since the inaugural event in 1987. Teams representing 20 nations will compete in 48 matches across eleven host cities during September and October. The Final is scheduled for Auckland's historic Eden Park on October 23, 2011.
Beyond its expertise in world-class sponsorship marketing, MasterCard also has a rich heritage of supporting the sport of Rugby in the host country. MasterCard has been a sponsor of the New Zealand All Blacks team for more than seven years. MasterCard is also match sponsor to the Barbarian Internationals for 2009-2010.