Superhero styled playing jerseys, a one-of-a-kind silver "bravery" coin, and a big dose of courage will be the driving forces behind the Wellington Lions annual Wellington Children's Hospital Charity Game against Otago on Sunday.
Each one of the Lions 23 unique playing jersey's will be auctioned on TradeMe after the squad's top of the table Mitre 10 Cup Championship match at Westpac Stadium with funds raised going to the Wellington Children's Hospital (WCH).
The Lions inaugural charity jersey auction last year raised more than $6000 and, with the help of The Village Goldsmith, the team are hoping to top that in 2017.
Wellington jewellery designer and manufacturer The Village Goldsmith has crafted a unique one-of-a-kind sterling silver "bravery" coin to be used by the referee for the pre-match coin toss on Sunday before being added as the 24th charity auction item.
The referee's coin is engraved with the head and tail of WCH mascot Hospi with the date of the game in a special tribute to the two organisation's decade long partnership.
The Village Goldsmith has also produced "Bravery Medals" for courageous young patients, which will also be available to purchase online at www.whf.org.nz and in the Wellington Hospital Gift Shop. All funds from sales of the medals will go to Wellington Regional Children's Hospital medical equipment fund.
Wellington Lions 2017 captain Brad Shields said the squad were proud of the team's decade-long association with WCH and urged people to get behind the cause.
"It's always humbling to visit the children's ward and inspiring to see the courage of the patients and their parents as well as the work the staff do and to be able to make a small contribution is a real privilege.
"The charity jerseys look great and we're looking forward to wearing them on Sunday. Hopefully our fans can get behind the auction and help us make a difference for a good cause."
For Lions fans who cannot contribute to the jersey auction Wellington players will be out and about in the city on Friday (September 29) helping with the WCH's Annual Street Appeal.
CAPTION: The Bravery Coin created by The Village Goldsmith. PHOTO: RADAR Photography NZ
Collectors will also be out again on the concourse at Westpac Stadium on Sunday in the build up to the family friendly kick off time of 2:35pm.
Wellington Hospitals Foundation chairman Bill day said the long association between the Lions and WCH was a great story of how sport can make a positive difference.
"Of course the money raised makes a tangible contribution, but it is difficult to place a value on putting a smile on a young patient's face when they're going through a tough time.
"Many young patients have looked forward to the Lions visits over the years and those have continued on an almost weekly basis throughout each season.
"Village Goldsmith's involvement only adds to things and I have no doubt the medals will lift the recipient's spirits."
CAPTION: Lions wing Julian Savea gives a high five to a young patient at the Wellington Children's Hospital. PHOTO: RADAR Photography NZ
The Village Goldsmith executive director Chris Benham said his whole team were proud to get behind WCH and design and craft the special medals.
"We hope the Hospi Bravery Medial will become a special keepsake for the kids, parents and extended support network to represent the bravery shown by all the at what is often a really tough time.
"It was great to have the Lions players join us in our Wellington workshop and take part in crafting the special Bravery Coin which will start the match. We hope it will help increase funding for WCH and support all the amazing work they do."
· Bravery Coin - one-of-a-kind sterling silver "bravery" coin to be used by the referee for the pre-match coin toss on Sunday before being added as the 24th charity auction item.
· Created in solid sterling silver in The Village Goldsmith Wellington jewellery workshop with the help of the Lions Players, Julian Savea, Asafo Aumua and Will Mangos.
· Specially engraved with the Hospi heads and tails for the referee coin toss. The engraving includes the names of the teams and the dates.
· These will be available to purchase online and in the Hospital retail store for $120 incl GST.
· The bravery medal is made in solid sterling silver featuring a sterling silver necklace and presentation box.
· It designed by the international award winning team at The Village Goldsmith.