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Athletes show support for Poto House event

Megan Hull, who made her Black Sticks debut in 2016, is a former Wairarapa College boarder having grown up in rural Pongaroa. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

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International equestrian champion Cat Williams and Black Sticks hockey player Megan Hull are among top athletes who are throwing their support behind Wairarapa College’s [WaiCol] Poto House as part of a fundraising event this weekend.

The co-educational boarding facility which faced possible closure last year, has been invaluable to rural Wairarapa families and helped many aspiring sports stars in the region.

Hull, who made her Black Sticks debut in 2016, is a former WaiCol boarder having grown up in rural Pongaroa.

For Wayne Jephson of Palliser Bay Station, Poto House is a “must”.

“That’s why we fought so hard to keep it open.

“They’ve got everything there for them at the hostel and will take the students to any of their sports.”

Access to a boarding facility enabled students living far away to still be able to attend sports practices and games, he said.

He cited the WaiCol 1st XI hockey team as another example – eight of the girls in the team which went on to play finals against Palmerston North Girls High School, are boarders.

While things had been “ticking along really well” this year and enrolments for 2021 were strong, the event on Saturday would serve to raise funds for both Poto House and the WaiCol Sports Foundation, he said.

“This fundraiser is to help keep it open for future generations.”

Of Hull, Jephson said he met her a few weeks ago and she was a “lovely lady”.

“We’ve got some good guests coming along.”

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson and former All Black Justin Marshall will also attend the evening’s entertainment which will be emceed by Scotty Stevenson and run a little like the ‘Graham Norton Show’.

This will be preceded by a two rugby matches earlier in the day, the curtainraiser game between WaiCol 1st XV versus Rathkeale College 1st XV, followed by the WaiCol 1st XV Old Boys versus an invitation team.

Jephson said tickets were limited with about 100 already sold.

The rugby matches are gold coin entry with gates opening at 12.30pm while tickets for the night’s entertainment, which includes food, are available for $45 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite.

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