News24

Cash boost for Christchurch

2012-01-05 10:07

Wellington - Rugby fans and teams raised NZ$400 000 during the Rugby World Cup to help rebuild sports facilities in the earthquake-stricken New Zealand city of Christchurch, organisers announced on Thursday.

The plight of New Zealand's second-largest city, which lost the hosting rights to seven World Cup matches last September and October, became the focal point of fund-raising throughout the tournament.

Much of city has been destroyed by a series of powerful earthquakes over the past 15 months with the most deadly tremor on February 22 claiming 181 lives.

Donations from teams and fans during the World Cup to assist with the restoration of rugby infrastructure in Christchurch raised NZ$400 000, the International Rugby Board (IRB) said.

"The response of the global rugby family in uniting as one behind our friends in Christchurch has been tremendous," IRB chairperson Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.

"Everyone involved wanted to send a clear message to the people of Christchurch that they were still at the heart of Rugby World Cup 2011 ... and the appeal was one way of letting them know that rugby worldwide cares."

AFP