Waikato Women’s Refuge score from football shirt initiative

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Hamilton’s Soccer United football supplies shop has clubbed together with the Wellington Phoenix women’s team to raise more than $1,000 for the Waikato Women’s Refuge.

The funds were gathered from raffling a Phoenix women’s team shirt, signed by all the players, at $5 a ticket.

The end result was a cheque for $1,050.00 being presented to Waikato Women’s Refuge chief executive Roni Albert.

And Waikato footballer Michaela Foster, who has emerged as one of the Phoenix’s stand-out players this season after previously working as a teacher at Hamilton Girls’ High, was on hand to make the presentation at the organisation’s Liverpool St headquarters.

Foster was in Hamilton after being called into the Football Ferns squad ahead of Friday’s international match against Portugal at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Main photo: Michaela Foster … a stand-out player for this year’s Wellington Phoenix team.

READ MORE: Phoenix’s Michaela Foster called into Football Ferns squad for first time >>>>

The raffle was organised by Soccer United principal Brooke Macdonald – a long-time supporter of Waikato Women’s Refuge – and won by a Cambridge woman Jos Phillips who is understood to be donating the shirt to Cambridge Football Club.

Macdonald expects the shirt to accrue sports memorabilia value quickly.

The Phoenix women were unable to play any matches at home in their inaugural season last summer through COVID restrictions, meaning this shirt captures the signatures of the very first women’s professional football team to play in New Zealand.

Cheques and balances: Wellington Phoenix fullback Michaela Foster, left, Waikato Women’s Refuge CEO Roni Albert and Elizabeth Macdonald from Soccer United, have combined in a highly successful community fundraiser.

Albert was delighted with the donation and said it would be spent on the refuge’s activities, such as daily food parcels, where disbursements have topped 25,000 since last March, with the agency attracting up to 50 referrals a day from families in need.

“It’s also been really neat to meet Michaela, and I will now follow her sporting career with much interest,” Albert said.

Foster, who is also the daughter of All Black coach Ian Foster, said such charity and community promotions were a component part of life with the Phoenix, and she was pleased to be able to play a part in investing in the Waikato community.

Meanwhile, Soccer United, based in Alexandra St, has also donated footballs and games for the use of children in the refuge’s safe houses.

Waikato Women’s Refuge provides a 24-hour crisis phone service and a safe and caring environment for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

The services provided include grants of furniture, clothing or food, safe housing, childcare assistance, and advocacy support.

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