Key's art to raise funds
When you are in a New Zealand masters hockey team and trying to find $7000 per player, it does no harm to start at the top.
Seven Palmerston North players, all from the High School Hockey Club, are booked to play at the inaugural World Cup of Masters Hockey at Canterbury, England, in August.
Held between the London Olympic Games and the Paralympics, the travel and accommodation are costing them a proverbial arm and a leg.
So Lynda West, captain of the victorious Manawatu 40s team at the national masters tournament in Palmerston North in March, decided to email Prime Minister John Key.
"I heard he had done drawings before," she said.
Key responded with a signed drawing of the Beehive and while it might not be a Picasso, it was by the Prime Minister's hand.
West will sell the drawing, which has been professionally framed, on Trade Me to raise funds for the trip.
"We must pay for everything," she said. "Uniforms and pins and we have to contribute to the coaches and managers."
Last year the masters players went to Queensland's Gold Coast for games against Australian and English sides. Only players who can afford to take part make themselves available for selection.
The other Manawatu players heading to England will be Rachael Percy, Helen Dickins, Di Kareko, Peter West, Mike Young and Darryl Cochrane.
Also up for auction will be a signed 2011 Turbos rugby jersey, a T-shirt signed by New Zealand player Emily Naylor from the Commonwealth Games and a rugby league ball signed by Sir Peter Leitch.