Charity game raises $15k

Blair Vining scores the opening try in the Blair Vining Invitational XV vs NZ Parliamentary Team game played at Queenstown last Saturday . The Blair Vining team won the game with a final score of 31 to 12. Photo: Dave Loudon Photography

DESPITE the opposition team being stacked with lawmakers, it was Blair Vining’s Invitational XV that laid down the law at a charity rugby match in Queenstown on Saturday.

In a game in which no quarter was given, the Winton man’s side prevailed 31-12 against a Parliamentary team including the game’s organiser, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker, his National colleagues Mark Mitchell, Paul Goldsmith and Michael Woodhouse, and Minister for Youth Peeni Henare.

For Mr Vining (38), it was his second game since a terminal bowel cancer diagnosis last October.

The first, in his hometown in January, helped launch the Blair Vining Sports Foundation, which aims to provide Central Southland College athletes with financial support.

Saturday’s game, played in front of about 600 people at the resort’s Recreation Ground, raised $15,000, which will be shared between Garston School and Mr Vining’s foundation.

Mr Vining, who ran in two tries during cameos at the start and end of the game, declared it an “awesome” afternoon, and said he was grateful for everyone’s support.

He was now looking forward to his next big fundraiser, ‘Blair Vining’s Epic Journey’ in Invercargill on June 29, for which tickets would go on sale this week.

Guests would include Cancer Society medical director Dr Chris Jackson and former All Blacks.

Images from the Blair Vining Invitational XV vs NZ Parliamentary team. Photos: Dave Loudon Photography

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