A wish to spend more time with her hard-working father has won a Rawhitiroa School student a date with Taranaki rugby's most prized possession.
Katelyn Kane and her father, Stephen, along with a yet-to-be decided friend, will escort the Ranfurly Shield into Yarrow Stadium by helicopter on September 1.
The 11-year-old won a competition run by the team's major sponsor, Tenderlink, which was on the hunt for Taranaki's biggest rugby fan.
The trio will then lead the team out on the pitch for its Shield defence against Tasman, before claiming some top-class seats to watch the game.
Tenderlink general manager Ross Dingle said Katelyn was picked because she deserved some quality time with her dad.
He said her letter about missing out on time with her dad because he was on the farm made her an obvious choice.
Yesterday, Katelyn was struggling to find the words to describe how she felt.
"I'm not supposed to win, I'm a girl," she said.
"Thank you so much."
The competition was run through Tenderlink. The organisation asked students under the age of 15 to write about why they were Taranaki's biggest rugby fan.
To Tenderlink Taranaki,
I am a huge fan of rugby and I would love it if I went to the Tenderlink Taranaki game with my friend and my Dad.
My Dad is the biggest fan of rugby. He has done so much for me, he's a hard working man and he deserves this so much. He's been very busy. Me and Dad haven't done anything together for ages. Because my Dad's a farmer, lately he has been busy. You're probably thinking why can't I just spend time with him in winter. Well in this house winter just seems the same as spring. Mum has just had a baby and it's really busy here at the moment. My sister really is busy at high school. I would thank you for this. Me and Dad love Tenderlink Taranaki. We vote for the Hurricanes and the All Blacks.
I love a lot of the players in Tenderlink, like Beauden Barrett, Jason Eaton, Jack Cameron and heaps more.
Please let us go. If you did I would go crazy. Please let us go. It would be an honour. Like I said, great supporters we are. Please just have a think about it.
From Katelyn Kane.
PS. I love Tenderlink Taranaki. Also I would cancel anything to watch rugby. I could write heaps more but I'm only allowed one A4 piece of paper.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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