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CLIENT NEWS - Rugby legends shape up for All Blacks’ curtain raiser

Rugby legends shape up for All Blacks’ curtain raiser

Training is underway at Anytime Fitness NZclubs across the country for some of New Zealand’s most accomplished rugby legends.

Carlos Spencer and DJ Forbes are among a cast of Pacific Island and New Zealand rugby legends dusting off their boots and getting in shape for a good cause.They will feature in a special curtain-raiser ahead of the All Blacks v Tonga test match on 7 September in Hamilton.  

The New Zealand Barbarian Legends will play the Pacific Legends. The match has been organised to raise awareness of diabetes and obesity, which affects many New Zealanders, but especially our Pacific Island and Māori communities.

Pacific Rugby Players (PRP) chief executive Aayden Clarke says, “through rugby, we are trying to make a positive difference and promote healthy lifestyles.”

The two teams are made up of well-known players and coached by All Blacks greats Sir Michael Jones (NZ Barbarian Legends) and Tana Umaga (Pacific Legends).

Anytime Fitness NZ is supporting this event by working with selected clubs to provide free access to these legends, who will use the gym facilities to help improve their fitness levels ahead of the big game.

“We are proud to be supporting these guys as they reunite for a good cause,” says Anytime Fitness NZ CEO Richard Ball.

“Anytime Fitness NZ is a champion sponsor of Diabetes NZ, so this initiative is a great fit for us. We are committed to raising awareness about how regular exercise can help with the prevention of Type 2, and management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

“By supporting some of our country’s most talented sportspeople, we also get the opportunity to build on the work we’re doing to raise awareness of diabetes and challenge some of the stigma surrounding the condition.” 

The driving force behind the match is the ‘MaiBody, MaiFuture’ health project. The project was launched last year by Pacific Rugby Players (PRP) and involves high profile rugby players role modelling healthier lifestyles to fight obesity and diabetes.

"Rugby provides a great platform for us to speak directly to our Pacific Island and Māori communities and by bringing all these players together, hopefully our message will be heard, and we can really get our people to sit up and make some changes.

“We are grateful to Anytime Fitness NZ for helping us spread the word, and for opening its doors to our rugby legends as they prepare to play on the big stage one more time,” added Clarke.

Anytime Fitness NZ’s support of the legends match complements a fundraising campaign it is running to raise money for Diabetes NZ.  The company’s 28-Day Winter Kick-Start Programme started last month, with all proceeds from the sale of a special eBook going to Diabetes NZ. The Programme can be purchased online until the end of August for $19 by visiting