Warriors star Blair returns to his old school with raincoats

By Te Ao - Māori News

A raincoat makes a huge difference. For some kids, it's the warmest item of clothing they own, others live in hand-me-downs. 

Today the 93 kids at Te Kura o Otangarei got a big surprise when Vodafone Warriors star Adam Blair and his teammates returned to his old school to surprise them with new raincoats courtesy of KidsCan.

All pupils at the decile one school will receive a free raincoat as part of KidsCan's "Raincoats for Kids" programme.

KidsCan CEO and founder Julie Chapman says, "We know that when it’s raining many kids in hardship don’t make it to school- their parents don’t have transport- and they fall behind, which knocks their confidence.”

Worse still, she says other kids arrive at school cold and wet.

“It's pretty hard to focus on maths equations when you're shivering.  We don’t want anything to be a barrier to kids learning so a raincoat makes a huge difference.” 

Chapman says to get something new, just for them, gives the kids a huge amount of pride. 

"We give every child a jacket, so that no child feels any stigma, everyone feels the same- which is a huge deal for kids in poverty, who notice they don’t have the same things other kids do."

The school has been supported by KidsCan since 2012.

As well as raincoats, KidsCan provides shoes, health essentials and food - including baked beans, fruit, spreads, muesli bars and scroggin.  

Chapman says last year KidsCan distributed 47,350 warm jackets, they gave out 5.27 million items of food, and 27,886 new pairs of shoes and socks.

Girls also received 22,000 boxes of tampons, pads and liners.