This year is shaping up as another big one for the Waterboy, a charity organisation that has its roots in Cambridge. Thomas Nabbs started the initiative here and he is keen to get more local businesses on the Waterboy team, helping people get into sport. With a strong belief that every Kiwi deserves a chance to participate in sport, Thomas is seeking sponsors to make that a reality for people where money has been a barrier to taking part. The first sponsored outing was in 2016, when they partnered with Cambridge businesses to get kids at Leamington School the subscriptions and uniforms they needed to play winter sport. One of the foundation sponsors of that first project was Five Stags in Leamington, and general manager Matt Palmer said they were happy to continue their support.
“We’re a community-based business, so anything that is going to support the local community was something we were going to be 100 per cent supportive of,” he said.
Among all the projects coming up, Thomas also has a coffee table book about the Waterboy in the pipeline, More than a Game, which is due out in March. Because they are a charity, the Waterboy is looking for pre-orders of the book to get it off the ground. Featuring nine of the Waterboy’s favourite initiatives, More than a Game will also include a selection of New Zealand sportspeople talking about how sport has changed their lives. Silver Fern netball captain Casey Kopua is on board, as well as international cricketer Tim Southee, joining other sportspeople keen to contribute. Sport has obviously played a massive part in their lives, but it is also something that Thomas said builds skills, wellbeing and pride. Something everyone, regardless of finances, could do with more of.
For more information about the book and how to get involved with the Waterboy, visit www.thewaterboy.org.nz.