On Friday 20 May, the Mike Tindall Celebrity Golf Classic took place at The Belfry in Warwickshire. This was the fourth of its kind, with this year’s proceeds being split between Rugby for Heroes and the Matt Hampson Foundation.
The weather thankfully went against the forecast to provide a dry and mostly sunny day as stars of sport and entertainment gathered to take on the challenge of the Brabazon Course, which is of course famous for hosting the European Ryder Cup victory in 2002. Our Patron, Mike Tindall was joined by wife Zara as well as the likes of Nick Wood, Ben Foden, Thom Evans & Austin Healey from the world of Rugby, AP McCoy & Mick Fitzgerald from the world of National Hunt Racing and Vernon Kay, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy & Brian Mcfadden from the entertainment world.
The event was once again a tremendous success with the evening gala dinner raising a huge amount for both charities through both a live and silent auction. The Charity would like to thank everyone involved in the golf day, in particular our Patron Mike and Autumn Phillips for putting on such a wonderful event. Their continued support is hugely appreciated by everyone involved in the Charity but most importantly buy those the Charity is able to support as a result.
Should you be interested in entering a team in to a future event then we would be delighted to hear from you.
On 12 May 2016, Rugby for Heroes took a team out to Paderborn to play British Army Germany (BAG) in what was the first of its kind for the Charity. As well as fulfilling the fixture against BAG, the aim of the tour was to promote the Charity within the armed forces, in particular the Charity’s “Transition Through Rugby” courses, which offers a Level 2 coaching qualification.
The squad was hosted by the 1st Armoured Medical Regiment at Dempsey Barracks and was made up of a number of armed forces personnel who had successfully completed the courses as well as ex professional rugby players including Junior Paramore (ex Samoa & Gloucester), Kevin Yates (ex Bath, Saracens & England) and Jon Goodridge (ex Gloucester & Bristol). The squad was managed by Charity Ambassador and actor Julian Lewis Jones.
As well as the match against BAG, two coaching clinics were also hosted for British schoolchildren currently based in Germany. This not only provided the children with the opportunity to meet and be coached by stars of the game but also offered an opportunity to the Charity’s qualified Level 2 coaches to further their experience and put in to practice the qualification obtained through the Rugby for Heroes transition courses.
The game itself took place on Saturday 14 May and was a hard fought contest by two evenly matched sides, with the R4H XV running out eventual winners 41-19. Speaking on behalf of the Charity, trustee Simon Bailey commented: “Whilst obviously a pleasing result for the Charity, it was the overall success of the weekend and the reception given by our hosts that was the most memorable aspect. We very much hope that this will be the first of many tours and have no doubt revenge for the defeat is already in the planning!”
The Charity wishes to thank everyone who assisted in making the tour such a success but in particular British Army Germany, our tour sponsor Pneuma Roofing and our ex professionals and ambassadors for giving their time (and ageing bodies!) so generously.
(Photos courtesy of Cpl J Dudding RLC)
For the 4th year running Rugby For Heroes are proud to be supporting the annual Royal Air Force Akrotiri Charity Dinner Night on Friday 22nd April 2016. The Ambassadors representing the Charity this year include Olympian Jamie Baulch, and former professional rugby players Henry Paul and Junior Paramore. All three, who were ‘team-mates’ during the recent high profile Rugby Aid game against the Army Masters, will be chaperoned by Lieutenant Colonel Spike Quant MBE, the Charities appointed Military Liaison.
RAF Akrotiri is an operational airfield located on the southernmost tip of the beautiful island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. It will be an exciting place for the Ambassadors to visit because there are a lot of fast jets based there just now, providing support to on-going operations in the Middle East, so the place is literally buzzing with activity.
The main aim of this event is for the Ambassadors to engage with the wider Service community and meet the military service men, women and their families who are living a long way from home. The Ambassadors will enjoy the rare opportunity of being hosted around an operational airbase and get up close up to the latest Typhoon and Tornado fast jets. They will also get to visit the on-base school and interact with the children, be interviewed by the local British Forces radio station and then help coach the children at the thriving rugby club. The visit will culminate with a live auction dinner night, where our Ambassadors will participate in a Question and Answer session before getting involved in the fun of encouraging those attending to dig deep into their pockets to help raise funds for our own charity and the local charities chosen by RAF Akrotiri.
The former Great Britain legend and ex-South Africa international will play in Rugby Aid XV’s match against an Army Masters side, opposite Sixways, on Saturday, March 12 (11.45am).
The special event, which takes place the same day as Warriors’ crunch home clash with Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership, has been put on to raise funds for Rugby for Heroes and will see celebrities such as actor Julian Lewis Jones and sprinter Jamie Baulch take part.
Samoa’s Terry Fanolua and brothers Robbie and Henry Paul are also set to feature, while Warriors’ record appearance-maker Craig Gillies will be dusting off his boots to make a return to action.
Entry to the game costs £5 per person on the gate on matchday, with all funds going to Rugby for Heroes. There will also be refreshments available at the game.
To support the charity, people are being encouraged to text RUGBY AID to 70700 to donate £5.
For more details, visit www.warriors.co.uk
Following the success of RugbyAid we are delighted to announce that we have made grants to our Charity Partners totalling £70,000
Chairman of Trustees Tim Allen says ‘RugbyAid was a great success and huge fun but the best part is being able to give real practical help to those who need it – working with these Charities and through our Transition Course and grants we support our former Services men and women as they return to civilian life.’
Veterans Aid 25k
Veterans Aid is a charity that operates by addressing an individual’s most immediate needs as rapidly as possible. It understands that ‘big picture’ problems like homelessness or addiction don’t happen overnight or as a result of military service; they are the consequence of incremental misfortunes that chip away at confidence, self-esteem and ability to cope with life’s everyday pressures.
Their staff provide a persistent, openly-caring and non-judgemental approach to all Veterans in crisis, which leads to substantial improvement in their well-being and contribute to their return to society.
They help to generate a mutually supportive, safe and empathetic network of friends and members of staff.They provide dedicated caseworkers to explore basic details of Veterans’ problems and help Veterans to get back to the point where they can sustain independent lifestyles.
On Course Foundation 20k
On Course Foundation supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and veterans through golf.
Their mission is to build confidence and self-belief in their Members through golf skills and employment events, and set them on the path to meaningful employment opportunities in the golf industry.
As a sport, golf offers a unique platform where players of all skills and backgrounds can compete healthily, improving not only their physical but mental strength too. With many lacking self- belief, it’s their aim to help Members realise their potential and set them on a fulfilling career path.
They use strong relationships with Defence Recovery Capability and the Personnel Recovery Units (PRUs) around the UK to reach Service personnel and help them.
They are committed to helping veterans as well, who suffer from physical and mental injuries. No matter when an injury took place, everyone is welcome to attend one of their events, Introductory Golf Events are held at golf clubs close to each PRU. These aim to introduce potential new members to golf and encourage them to attend Golf Skills & Employment Events.
Golf Skills & Employment Events allow attendees to fully explore how golf can help them on the road to recovery, and how the industry can provide employment.
Members receive not only comprehensive golf tuition from training professionals, but career advice and guidance from industry professionals in golf course management, greenkeeping and marketing to name but a few.
The aim is to offer work experience placements to members, leading to employment. Employment is key to building self-esteem and confidence in our members and supporting their goal of getting back on course.
Hire a Hero 15k
Hire a Hero supports Service Leavers and Veterans to make the successful transition into civilian life by trained Hire a Hero staff, mentors and volunteers working with Service Leavers and Veterans to help them make the right choices through the transition period.
They offer support such as Career coaching and access to job specific training.
Their Mentors will support Service leavers to find the help they can need with housing and welfare problems.
Future for Heroes 10k
Future for Heroes, originally called Remount, recognises that some armed forces personnel leaving the military need help in making the physical and emotional adjustments necessary to successfully reintegrate into civilian life.
They provide free residential courses where individuals are encouraged to reflect and learn from their past, realise their current circumstances and begin to plan for their future.
The object of the charity is to develop the ability of both serving and retired members of the armed forces, as well as their spouses/partners, to manage the dramatic change in cultures when resuming civilian life. The individuals, from across all ranks of the 3 services, are better able to identify and meet their post-military needs and so can participate fully in society.
Whilst delegates include all military leavers irrespective of their individual situations, a number who attend are referred to Future for Heroes from organisations that support the more vulnerable, those for whom falling into unemployment, offending and destructive behaviour is a real risk. Whatever personal circumstances are, all leave Future for Heroes having benefited from attending.
We are proud to announce that #rugbyaid has raised a staggering £150,000 !!!
We cannot thank everyone enough for all of the support we have had ! It really is amazing !! #rugbyforheroes #wesaluteyou
It was a night not just about fund raising for Rugby For Heroes but also an opportunity for rugby fans to visit the Stoop in Twickenham, home of the Harlequins, and have fun in a unique event in the build up to RWC 15. In amongst a cadre of 2003 Rugby World Cup winners including the likes of familiar names such as Cohen, Tindall, Robinson, Hill, Back et al was a generous smattering of renowned sportsmen and celebrities with a point to prove on the rugby field, and that was just the England XV.
Facing them was a Rest of the World (RoW) team managed by Zinzan Brooke and captained by Shane Williams, featuring greats of world rugby including Thorn, Marshall, Betsen, Byrne (Welsh and Irish versions) Kellock and Lawson. Featuring broadcasters, athletes and singers, the RoW were ready to give a full account of themselves.
On both sides were players from the Armed Forces. Asked after the game how much he enjoyed playing with the professionals and celebrities, Royal Navy’s Marsh Cormack said, “To put themselves out there for the military is exceptional.
A number of match rules were in force to safe guard the players as well as provide for an excellent spectacle. Rolling subs were permitted and the scrums were uncontested. Each team had a designated kicker in the form of Andy Cole and Robbie Savage. Perhaps most importantly the clock would not stop for each of the 40 minute halves and this was carefully watched by match referee Tony Spreadbury.
The ladies of Portsmouth Military Wives’ Choir supported by the Band of the Parachute Regiment set the right note in the build up to the game leading a rousing rendition of the National Anthem for the England team. All was in place for the main event.
So to the kick off, with Rugby League’s Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe lofting the ball for what led to 80 minutes of superb rugby. Within 7 minutes RoW and Marsh Cormack standing at first receiver took the pass from Justin Marshall and via Gethin Jones (broadcaster) and Shane Williams the ball arrived back with Cormack running a loop with 5m to go and with pace to spare crossed the whitewash; it was then a case of you score one, I score one as the scoreboard ticked over.
The ex-pros had not forgotten their silky skills and physicality even if Ugo Monye, Paul Sculthorpe and Martin Offiah were later to tweet of painful recovery time but the celebrities were able to hold their own throughout, no one more so than Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea) and aforementioned Jones who put on a superb display both in attack and defence for the fans.
On the half hour was potentially the pick of the tries with not 1 but 4 England capped wingers getting in on the action. Sackey, Cueto and Cohen all contributed to Tom May’s try. Following that Louis Spence, all 5ft 6in of him entered the fray. Having entertained the crowd during the warm up with his gymnastics and known more for his dancing and effervescent character he found himself with the ball on the wing before being taken into touch by a strong Shane Williams’ tackle. (Images of Spence fronting up to Williams afterward were much retweeted!) Just before half time a Rory Lawson try was taken upstairs to TMO Austin Healey; ignoring the advice and to make a point Spreadbury awarded the try with the half ending Eng 17 RoW 24.
Speaking at half time, Chairman of the Trustees of Rugby for Heroes and Director of Rugby for Hampshire, Mr Tim Allen said of the event, “It has been a superb evening with a sensational atmosphere with every penny of the ticket sales going straight to the charity. In this type of event rugby and the charity is the winner…but I still want England to win!”
The RoW were ready first as they took their half-time break pitchside and it wasn’t long before Serge Betsen picked up the ball from a ruck and had a simple run in under the posts. The tit-for-tat try scoring continued and among many highlights Dion Dublins touchline conversion was excellent. A moment of pantomime villainy occurred when former All Black Brad Thorn annihilated Jamie Laing, clearly unaccustomed to playing against a more lightweight opposition the upending tackle resulted in a yellow card for the most decorated rugby player in the world. Despite his visit to hospital later for cracked ribs Jamie tweeted that it had been the most amazing day of his life and with Richard Hill unofficially nominating him as Englands Man of the Match we tend to agree.
Following a disallowed try from Mike Tindell and with the score line separated by a penalty kick it was RoW who scored the final try with Terry Fanolua giving and receiving the ball from Daryl Gibson to put the game out of the reach of England. Full time – England 27 RoW 36.
The evening was a superb display of sportsmanship, drive and desire and the 10,461 supporters who attended the event went away with a smile on their face as the many fan-celeb selfies shared demonstrated. Some unlikely friendships were forged with Jason Robinson and Harry Judd (McFly), Dion Dublin and Brian McFadden (Westlife) and Jamie Baulch and Gaz Beadle (Geordie Shore) later tweeting each other.
Rugby For Heroes and associated partners have set the benchmark for subsequent events and all will no doubt look forward to the next instalment of Rugby Aid. Massive thanks to all those who made it possible.
BT Tower Event
Exclusive dinner at BT Tower’s
45 Maple Street , London, W1T 4JZ
26th November 2015
Rugby World Cup Review and a look forward to Rio 2016
An opportunity to review RWC 2015 & look ahead to Rio 2016 with
guests including Colin Jackson, Jamie Baulch & Mark Foster as well
as stars from the world of Rugby.
Spaces are strictly limited so it’s advisable to secure your table early.
Our day at the races started very early with a meeting at the stables of Ben Pauling with the assistance of our patron, Champion Jockey Sam Thomas, who gave our party a tour of the stables and spoke about what it’s like to prepare for big race day.
We were fortunate to meet two horses who were running that day. After our champagne breakfast we were off to the races.
The hospitality in our box, which overlooked the penultimate and final fence with Cleeve Hill providing the perfect backdrop, was as spectacular as the sun that was shining too. The champagne was flowing as the horses made their way to the starting post … and we were off and running!!
The first few races were won by the favourites and the bookmakers didn’t seem to pleased about that. But our guests certainly were enjoying themselves especially with a read through the card with Sam Thomas and tips throughout the day.
We were particularly please to see our ex serving military guests enjoying the freedom of the day. One such guest was Gary, who served out in Afghanistan and is now recovering from PTSD – he had never been to Cheltenham Festival before and was appreciative the opportunity to experience such a fantastic day.
We would like to thank our supporters Red Sixty and SHS Drinks, who’s generosity enabled us to offer the days events. Also Headley Court and Tedworth House for attending our charity day.
Wednesday, April 16th, The Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham.
Things got underway with a welcome reception drink and chat prior to the lunch. The guests who attended the Mike Tindall Lunch all had a very enjoyable meal and were entertained by a host of sporting celebrities from the world of Cricket, Horse Racing, Skeleton & Rugby.
Firstly Sam Thomas told us about the experience he had in riding two wonder horses Denman and Kauto Star and the joy he had winning at the Cheltenham festival.
Amy Williams also shared her feelings on what it was like to be on the other side of the camera rather than competing at this years Winter Olympics. She also give an insight as to how the future of the sport is in safe hands with all manor of training facilities available to the British squad.
Mike Powell informed us of his thoughts on why England Cricket Team were having difficulties but assured us they will be back to winnings ways very soon. He also shared a few funny stories which the audience found very hilarious.
Mike Tindall and Stephen Vaughan (MD of Gloucester Rugby Club) gave us their vision on the future of Gloucester Rugby and Mikes transition from player to coach.
Very informative Q&A, great to get an incite into the hearts and minds of true professionals.
We raised £2500 on the day, many thanks to those who attended the event and also to our sponsor Stratstone Land Rover.