Port Taranaki is continuing its proud, long-term support of regional sport by re-signing as the key partner of Taranaki women’s rugby.
Port Taranaki has been the naming rights sponsor of the Taranaki Whio women’s rugby team, the Taranaki women’s sevens team, and the girls’ secondary schools competition since 2018. This commitment will continue for another 12 months.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue our support of women’s rugby in Taranaki,” Port Taranaki head of commercial Ross Dingle said.
“More and more girls and women are getting involved in rugby, the women’s game is gaining in strength locally and nationally, and there are pathways for women to make a career in the game, whether as players, coaches or officials.
“This aligns with our values as a company to ensure our people have the opportunity to develop.”
Mr Dingle said the Port Taranaki Whio had been fantastic ambassadors of the region in their first two seasons back in the top level of women’s rugby, the Farah Palmer Cup national competition.
“We’ve really enjoyed watching the Port Taranaki Whio get stronger and develop as a team and we want to help them build on this progress. The more our region’s best players take on the best players in the country, the more the sport will grow and will give our younger female players something to aspire to.”
Port Taranaki has had a long association with Taranaki Rugby, including a term as principal sponsor of the Taranaki Bulls men’s team, and Mr Dingle said the company was proud to support the community and regional organisations.
“Rugby, like many sports, businesses and organisations, has had it tough in recent times. As a Taranaki company, we aim to be profitable and sustainable so that we can give back to the community, and we are very proud to be able to offer support.”
Taranaki Rugby chief executive Laurence Corlett said Port Taranaki’s continued backing of the women’s game was much appreciated.
“Taranaki Rugby are delighted to have the support of Port Taranaki for the next year to grow girls’ and women’s rugby here in the region,” he said.
“We are determined to improve on the excellent work over the past few years and keep building on participation numbers in the junior grades. We also need to make sure we can improve our high performing players and push their case for higher honours.”
This year, the Farah Palmer Cup will be split into North and South pools, with the Port Taranaki Whio in the North pool, along with Northland, North Harbour, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
The Whio’s nine-week season kicks off on Sunday, 23 August, with an away match against Northland. Their opening home match is against Counties Manukau on Saturday, 29 August at the TET Stadium & Events Centre in Inglewood.
Other matches at the TET Stadium & Events Centre are scheduled for Sunday, 6 September against Auckland, and Saturday, 19 September against North Harbour.
The competition will feature Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens players, including sevens star and Southern club representative Gayle Broughton, who will be a big asset to the Port Taranaki Whio squad.
Image: Marking Port Taranaki’s continued support of Taranaki women’s rugby are Port Taranaki head of commercial Ross Dingle, left, Taranaki Rugby women’s high performance manager La Toya Mason, Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper, and Taranaki Rugby chief executive Laurence Corlett. The Port Taranaki Whio kick off their national championship campaign later this month.