Christmas came early for 27 local schools last week as Santa, in the form of Nelson Suburbs director of football Ryan Stewart, came bearing gifts across the city.
Ryan brought sacks full of cones, bibs and 250 balls on behalf of his club to primary and pre-schools.
Tahunanui School sports coordinator Jacinda Beyer-Rieger says funding for sports equipment is becoming increasingly difficult and the gift is greatly appreciated.
“This is gold, it’s just brilliant.”
She says students are out on the fields playing every day but are just as adept at losing footballs as they are at kicking them.
“Plenty of the balls go missing. You have to scout around the field each day to make sure they aren’t left out; these will be put to very good use.”
Ryan says he has seen a common trend at schools with cutbacks on sports gear.
“We have a lot of old stock and this is just a better way to reuse them and we hope it makes a difference for these schools.”
He says it is all about connecting with the local community.
“We are a team supported by the community so if we don’t give back then they are doing everything for us.”
He says Nelson schools needing any form of help should not hesitate to contact the club.
“We are here to give back, when people need us give us a call and we will do our best to help.”