Ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup later this year, the New Zealand All Blacks have launched an extended partnership with the team’s official charities.

The All Blacks’ official charities, KidsCan and Plunket have extended their relationships with the New Zealand Rugby Union until March 2012 and are working with the NZRU on a series of initiatives in support of Kiwi children.

The KidsCan StandTall Charitable Trust helps disadvantaged children in low decile schools nationwide, while Plunket is the largest provider of free support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under five in New Zealand.

The two organizations were announced as charity partners of the All Blacks for a three-year term in June 2008.

Also announced today was an initiative from the NZRU’s Principal Partner and All Blacks Principal Sponsor adidas that will see a donation from every one of the new All Blacks jerseys sold to the two All Blacks Charity partners.

The new All Blacks jersey will be unveiled at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium immediately before the All Blacks – Springboks Investec Tri Nations clash on July 30. Ten dollars from every sale of the jersey in adidas stores in New Zealand between July 30 and October 31 will be donated – $5 each – to KidsCan and Plunket.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to continue our association with KidsCan and Plunket as both organisations and the children they work with are important to us. These partnerships allow the team to make a real contribution to young people and future generations of All Blacks and All Blacks fans. Through this offer from adidas, we also have a direct link between the team, our fans and supporting Kiwi kids and their families in 2011.”

“We’re thrilled to lend our support to Plunket and KidsCan,” says adidas New Zealand Country Manager David Huggett. “It’s heartening to think that when we see our stadiums filled with All Blacks jerseys in future, each one will represent a child who’s been given a better start in life. We know these charities are close to the hearts of the All Blacks, so it’s great to be able to financially boost that relationship.”

KidsCan Founder and CEO Julie Helson said: “KidsCan is thrilled with the extension of our partnership with the NZRU and All Blacks. Together we have already achieved so much for New Zealand children less fortunate than others. Members of the All Blacks come from all walks of life but the one thing they have in common is their commitment to be the best they can be. This inspires the children we support to dream and achieve their goals at school and life.”

Plunket President Carol Becker says Plunket are delighted. “We work with throughout the country to support families in our communities. This support from the NZRU and their Principal Partner adidas allows us to continue to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life.”

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said: “We are delighted to continue our work with KidsCan and Plunket and to link the All Blacks with efforts to ensure New Zealand kids can grow up happy and healthy.”

Towards the end of the extended term, the NZRU will invite charitable organisations to submit expressions of interest for the official charity opportunities to run from March 2012.

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