There's a saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
And that's exactly what the region's rugby players have done following the series of devastating earthquakes over the past last year.
In spite of having to play all their games out of Christchurch, as well have suffering major disruption to their training schedule, the Crusaders made the final of the Super 15, while this month for the fourth time in a row, Canterbury won the national provincial championship. Our representative teams are true champions for their performances in spite of the adversity they have faced at home this year.
Rugby is such an important part of life in our city which has suffered so much devastation since 4 September 2010. And in our darkest hours it has brought back some normality to our lives to see our club teams, from five year olds up, out as usual in Hagley Park on Saturday mornings over winter.
While we have been able to use Hagley Park, many of the city's rugby grounds and facilities have suffered serious damage and have been out of action. We need to repair them to ensure rugby continues to flourish in our city.
I congratulate the International Rugby Board, Rugby World Cup Limited and the Canterbury Rugby Earthquake Relief Charitable Trust for this appeal which will help rugby clubs, players and administrators to rebuild and repair after the earthquakes and also to assist players and clubs in our region who are suffering financial hardship.
Thank you for your help. It means a lot to the rugby community in Christchurch.
Mayor of Christchurch.
The devasting earthquake on 22 February caused extensive damage to every part of normal life in Christchurch. From the tragedy of lives lost, to the massive damage to buildings and underground utilities, no part of life for Christchurch's citizens has been unaffected.
Rugby plays an important part in the lives and well-being of many in the city and surrounding province - Christchurch is the home of the most successful team in Super Rugby history, and Canterbury has just completed an extraordinary four back to back national competition titles.
But rugby is more than just the prominent professional teams - from the 5 year olds just starting out, to schools of all sizes and grades, to our 48 clubs with their vast array of teams, rugby is intrinsically linked to its community. This community has been badly effected, and many clubs have suffered damage to grounds and facilities, and have seen participating numbers decline due to families leaving the worst effected parts of the city.
This appeal has the potential to dramatically improve rugby's ability to cope and thrive after the horrors of the earthquake - more than that, this appeal can help improve the lives and well-being of the whole community by helping repair the infrastructure of the game that is so dear to the hearts of Christchurch and Canterbury people.
Thank you for any support, from the bottom of our hearts."
CEO, Canterbury Rugby Football Union