Makos turn pink for a good cause

00:30, Aug 20 2011
Pink Makos
Tasman Makos players, from left, Shawn Begg, Francis Smith, Joe Wheeler and Mitchell Scott will support Pink Pilates by using the pink laces in their rugby boots for the Makos' match against Otago tomorrow.

They're not sure what the old boys are going to think, but the Tasman Makos will be proudly wearing pink bootlaces when they play Otago at Trafalgar Park tomorrow, as they try to raise funds to help women with cancer exercise.

The team wants to encourage others to buy the laces, as profits go towards Pink Pilates, an organisation delivering individualised rehabilitation programmes nationwide for women recovering from cancer.

Nelson physiotherapist and owner of Activate Physiotherapy Clinic, Helen Nott, holds the contract to deliver Pink Pilates services in Nelson and Marlborough.

Ms Nott said 15 to 20 women were currently on the programme, mostly from Nelson. They were mostly women with breast or ovarian cancer.

"Some are still going through their treatment; some have finished but are struggling to get movement back."

The course helped them regain their physical strength, improve their body confidence and incorporate exercise into their lifestyle.

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For many, fatigue was a big problem, but often exercise helped to reduce this, she said. "And that's the cool thing about this – it's about wellness, not illness."

The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation was a principal funder, but the popularity and success of the programme had led to a shortage of funds, she said.

It was now trying to raise money by selling the Pink Pilates laces, which were symbolic of helping cancer survivors take the first steps on the road to recovery.

The Makos threaded up yesterday afternoon. Most were happy with the way the pink brought out the other colours of their boots, though there was some concern about what the likes of Colin Meads and other former rugby players might think.

Wing Mitchell Scott said the players were more than happy to get behind the cause.

"We're only wearing pink laces. Others have to deal with situations that are a lot worse."

Hooker Francis Smith said they wanted to encourage as many people as possible to follow their lead and get the message out.

"And hopefully the Otago players will look at our boots and get put off. At least my team-mates will be able to see me."

The laces will be sold for $10 a pair at Trafalgar Park, and all funds will go towards helping Nelson and Marlborough women attend the programme.

A full course of 14 sessions, which includes clinical pilates, physiotherapy, massage, breathing techniques and an exercise prescription, costs $470.

The Nelson Mail