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Connection Week at the Crusaders

What is Connection Week?

Connection is very important to the Crusaders, both in building our culture and genuinely engaging with our wider whanau. We work together with charities like I Am Hope to use our platform and voice to create real positive change for our community. We encourage vulnerability, self-improvement and a deliberate approach to mental well-being. 


Internally we champion connection, eye contact and being present. More than just a fist bump, a high five, an arm around the shoulders – it's about genuinely greeting colleagues and visitors, and sincerely listening to others to give us all a deeper understanding of each other.


Today, 22 May 2023, we launch Connection Week. Throughout the week, our friends at Chemist Warehouse are raising money for I Am Hope and our own Crusade with Heart Foundation is jumping on board. Together we want to help young Kiwis become mentally resilient, while changing the conversation about mental health.


I Am Hope has a simple but challenging goal – positive societal attitudinal change. Young Kiwi struggle with distressing self-talk and overthinking, and this can often lead to them feeling isolated and alone. By showing them that everyone has these thoughts, they don’t feel alone, they are more likely to talk about their emotions, and we can give our kids a better life.


So what are the Crusaders doing to help?

Together with our Alumni, our current players, up-and-coming players, our Matatū sisters, our staff, and our friends at I Am Hope, we are embarking on a week of activities, activations and gestures to show what connection means to us.

Check out all the things we’re doing as a team and a community to bring people together to connect and share:


I Am Hope facilitates counselling sessions for young people through their initiative Gumboot Friday, and it’s that cause that funds raised through Connection week will go towards.

  • Take a Mate to Footy ticket deal to encourage you to connect with a mate and come along to the game. Grab a 2 for 1 ticket deal on all tickets to the Crusaders v Waratahs home game on Saturday 27 May, 4:35pm.  Deal ends midnight Friday 26 May. Buy your ticket here


  • Limited Edition Crusaders Connection Week Cap will be available to purchase at, and our game against the Waratahs. Proceeds from the Cap will go to I Am Hope.


  • Grab a free Chemist Warehouse Crusaders Connection Tee either from the game, or from our school visits throughout the week. We’ve got 10,000 to giveaway!


  • Six school visits around Christchurch with Mike King, I Am Hope ambassadors, Crusaders alumni, current Crusaders players, Matatū players and Crusaders academy players.


  • Crusaders team playing in fist-bump embroidered playing jerseys in their game against the Waratahs.


  • Crusaders Inaugural Hall of Fame lunch to connect alumni, members, current players, commercial partners and Crusaders wider management. At the lunch we’ll be inducting our first 3 Crusaders legends, and we’ll be sure to celebrate Crusaders culture and success


  • Hall of Fame charity auction expected to raise considerable funds for I Am Hope. Items include matching Michael Jordan/Lebron James basketball jerseys, Pele signed Brazil football jersey, Foo Fighters signed guitar and a collage of all the signatures of F1 ’22 drivers.


  • Buy a Chemist Warehouse Super Raffle ticket and go in the draw to win flights and tickets to watch rugby in France! Proceeds from the Raffle will go towards I Am Hope.