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Surprise trip to Rio - The Robertsons

23 March 2016:

As part of its long-running partnership with the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Volkswagen NZ is helping the family of New Zealand rower Brook Robertson to realise their dream of supporting their son in Rio by sending them to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Olympic travel packages to Rio were prohibitively expensive for Brook’s parents, Lynn Petrie and Wayne Robertson, who live in Nelson. Wayne suffered a forestry accident in 2013, leaving him unable to work.

Volkswagen NZ surprised the Robertsons at Lake Karapiro while they were watching Brook train this week, letting them know they had purchased an Olympic travel package for the family to cheer Brook on in Rio.

Volkswagen NZ General Manager Tom Ruddenklau says the gesture is behind Volkswagen’s drive to support not only New Zealand’s Olympic athletes, but those who have supported our athletes to get to this point.

“We’re well aware an athlete’s family is often their biggest supporter, from cheering at the sidelines, to the financial support over many years. Brook’s family deserve to see him compete at Rio and we know having his family there in person will mean a great deal to him.”

The news came as a complete surprise for Lynn Petrie and she says she is ecstatic to be able to be there for this exciting step in Brook’s journey as a rower.
“Every time Brook’s won a medal, he’s put it around my neck and kissed the top of my head. I’m looking forward to being there for him to be able to put a medal around my neck after they win at Rio,” says Lynn.

Brook Robertson, 21, was selected to be part of the New Zealand Olympic men’s rowing eight crew earlier this month, following their fourth placing at the World Rowing Championships in France in September.

Volkswagen NZ has also worked with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to send another deserving supporter of an Olympic athlete to Rio in August. The athlete’s supporter selected to travel to Rio will be announced in May 2016.

For more information, interview & images:
Laura Douglas - FCB / +6421 040 5859


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