23 Oct 2008

Hillary rugby shield to commemorate Sir Ed - PM

3:20 pm on 23 October 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary is to be remembered with an annual rugby match between the All Blacks and England for the Hillary Shield, Prime Minister Helen Clark has announced.

The shield will be unveiled in England ahead of the inaugural match for the new trophy on 29 November.

Miss Clark announced the move in Auckland on Thursday alongside Lady June Hillary and rugby union representatives.

She said they took the time find a fitting tribute to the late Sir Edmund Hillary.

"I think its particularly appropriate that it's a shield between New Zealand and England because of course Ed came to prominence through being on a British expedition to Everest.

"He got his chance to get to the top through that expedition."

Lady Hillary said Sir Edmund was a big rugby fan, and would have been "chuffed" at the announcement.

The Government has also announced a $60,000 boost to funding for the Himalayan Trust, taking the annual grant to $350,000.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand is also creating a Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Recreation Council.