NZRL: Communities through COVID Standout Volunteer

Ngariri Nuku Lee Waitokia from Eastern Eagles Rugby League club down in Christchurch has been recognised as a standout volunteer as part of Pirteks’ – Communities through Covid initiative.

Nuku is an invaluable volunteer of the Eastern Eagles rugby league club and a woman of many roles from team manager to committee member to Club Secretary. However, it is her most recent work during this time of uncertainty which deserves some special recognition.

The harsh unemployment realities of a country in lockdown due to Covid-19 were fast approaching, and it was clear the vulnerable families in lower-income areas would be impacted the most.

So Nuku along with the newly appointed Club President (Zion Taumiti) created a Covid-19 response team made up of coaches and managers from across the club. They created a survey for each player and their families asking what their situation and main concerns were during this time.

Nuku took on the responsibility of ensuring all the administration was complete concerning the club survey. She ensured every single player and their family members were included in a database and that their needs were categorised accordingly to allow the club to act efficiently with goods, services and support.

The database totalled 60 families with at least five or more in each family from infant to elderly, about three-quarters of those who responded to the club’s survey said they needed more food and were feeling isolated.

Without her organisation, the club would not have been in a position to do the important family drops that covered all areas of Christchurch. Eastern Eagles rugby league club distributed family packages to about 30 families over 30 over Easter, which included colouring in sets and easter eggs.

“This is what Pirtek loves about Rugby League and the Rugby League community. There are always people that will go out of their way to help others, people that take a selfless approach to life in general,” says Pirtek General Manager Chris Bourke.

“In times like these, its great people like Nuku, along with Zion and the Eastern Eagles Rugby League Club, that stand out to support the community and do this without the expectation of recognition. They are simply there to help others in the Rugby League family and beyond.

“Nuku is a well deserved recipient of the Pirtek Communities Through COVID Award. Congratulations.”

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