St. Helier’s, Mt. Albert adopt USA Eagles

I know we’re not supposed to be biased, but do you know what our favorite parts of Auckland are?

That’s easy: St. Heliers and Mt. Albert.

These two business districts have adopted the USA Eagles for the Rugby World Cup.

The event was the launch of Auckland’s Adopt-a-Second-Team programme, which aims to link Auckland communities with the 19 teams coming to New Zealand to compete in Rugby World Cup 2011. The program was kicked off in the seaside village of St Helier’s – which also happens to be supporting the USA Eagles in RWC 2011 (in fact, thirty-four different local centers have signed up to take part in Adopt-a-Second-Team,

World Cup-winning former All Blacks Steve McDowell (l, with scarf) and Grant Fox, with US Consul in Auckland, Dana Deree

World Cup-winning former All Blacks Steve McDowell (l, with scarf) and Grant Fox, with US Consul in Auckland, Dana Deree

so some teams have more than one local Auckland fan base to offer them support: the suburb of Mt. Albert will also be cheering on the Eagles).

Auckland Mayor Len Brown launched the program at St Helier’s Moreton’s Bar and Restaurant on April 14.

“I want Aucklanders to get behind this initiative and really roll out the welcome mat to our international visitors,” he said in his welcome speech. “It’s fantastic that so many of our local town centers are excited about getting involved in this program and making the most of the benefits RWC 2011 will bring to Auckland.”

The program is one of a number of initiatives, including the volunteer program and heavily subscribed schools program, to ensure RWC 2011 is an event that all Aucklanders can get involved in and be proud of. The Adopt-a-Second Team program is led by Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Mainstreets, which are each allocated one of the 19 international teams.

Along with national sporting celebrities, as well as local politicians and members of the business community, U.S. Consular Chief in Auckland, Dana Deree, attended the launch. The ceremony was covered by television, radio, and print media.

Phil McKenna, U.S. Embassy

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