The Wellington Phoenix will unveil a special one-off strip on Sunday, when the men play host to Macarthur FC in their fifth round Isuzu UTE A-League match at Sky Stadium.
The match-worn shirts will be signed by the Phoenix players and auctioned off, with the net proceeds going to I AM HOPE and Gumboot Friday.
I AM HOPE aims to promote positive attitudinal societal change around mental health throughout New Zealand, offering hope and a voice to young people.
Their annual Gumboot Friday appeal is this week. Funds raised will be used to connect kids with mental health counsellors and practitioners in their region or online, so they can get timely support, without the added stress of how to pay the bill.
“Mental health is Aotearoa’s number one social issue and something the club takes very seriously,” Phoenix general manager David Dome said.
“Everyone knows someone who is dealing with mental health issues and the young men and women at the Phoenix are no different.
“That’s why we want to support I AM HOPE and their annual Gumboot Friday appeal to help normalise talk about mental health and raise funds for the great work they do in helping young New Zealanders.”
Paladin Sports have designed the one-off strip, which will be available for pre-order exclusively at the Official Wellington Phoenix FC Kit Store from 3pm Sunday for one week, with delivery in the New Year.
Paladin are also supporting Gumboot Friday. They will donate $10 from every jersey sold to I AM HOPE.
“We at Paladin believe sport can play an important role in mental health, as well as raising awareness for its support,” Paladin Sports NZ CEO Ed Harman said.
“We are excited the Phoenix have aligned themselves with such a great cause and were only too happy to get alongside and aid in the fundraising.
“We think the one-off charity strip carries on the beautifully crafted new cultural identity of the club, but when combined with some of the I Am Hope brand colours, it creates a striking presence that will look great on the pitch.”
Fans too can support the appeal by texting ‘boots’ to 469 to automatically donate $3.
Tickets for Sunday’s Isuzu UTE A-League match are available here.