When Bath Rugby’s players run out at Twickenham at The Clash 15 ambassadors of Bath Rugby Foundation will join them on the field.
The Bath Rugby Foundation XV will all be incorporated into the special charity shirts the players will wear at the home of England Rugby.
The Foundation’s ambassadors have been specially selected for displaying incredible determination to overcome the odds has seen them achieve remarkable success
One of the fifteen inspiring individuals who will be carried onto the field will be the Inclusion Coach Becks Toan who has seen her life turned around thanks to the Foundation.
“The foundation means everything to me,” she said. “I don’t like to think about where I would be without it.”
Becks, who lives in Frome, had been trying – and struggling – to find a route into a sporting career, with long-held ambition of being a coach.
She was unemployed and “at rock bottom”.
“I was pretty broken,” she said.
Having grown up a fan of the round ball – and Liverpool FC in particular – Becks developed an affection for Bath Rugby and it was while looking at the club website that she spotted an advert for an apprenticeship with Bath Rugby Foundation.
After an unsuccessful application for the role, Becks stayed in touch with the foundation team and started volunteering, helping at events and gaining some coaching experience.
She enrolled on the Get Active Into Work employability programme. This programme for unemployed people aged 16 and over developed sports leadership and provided work experience where she gained sport leadership experience and gained a Community Sports Leaders Award Level 2.
In time this turned into some part time work and then, when the foundation teamed up with Bath and North East Somerset Council on the Try Active programme, Becks secured a full time coaching role.
When the programme’s funding ended, Becks was successful in gaining a permanent contract as a Foundation Coach specialising in Inclusion delivery. This has resulted in BRF setting up the first Mixed Ability Team within the South West with Walcot Warriors.
While Becks is focused on helping others as a coach, she knows the impact that Bath Rugby Foundation has had on her own life.
“I was like a broken-down car when I met the foundation,” she said. “The foundation fixed me.
“It means the world to me that someone believed in me.”
Becks has a clear aim for the direction she hopes to take her own career. “I want to be an inclusion coach. I want to help get people active.
“I get so much from seeing someone with learning difficulties or special educational needs or a disability achieve something they didn’t think they could achieve.”
“I use my story with the foundation to motivate me to do the best I can with people with special disabilities.
“As a sports coach I try to tackle barriers and create memories of each participant I work with. Often and not the barrier I’m tackling is the fact they have a learning difficulty or disability and mental they think they can’t do it, so by tackle this barrier and making them think differently then creates a memory, which can have a huge positive benefits for the participants”
“I like giving people the chance and the hope.”
How does she feel about being such a central part of The Clash.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I love the club. For them to run out with us a part of the shirt, for me it is more about the foundation being the priority, playing a big role in a big match.
“It was a special experience last year. I have great memories of last year.
“This year will be even more special with the foundation being at the heart of the game.”
From unemployment and feeling like she was “at rock bottom” in 2012, Becks was recently named the city’s Coach of the Year at the Bath Chronicle Sports Awards and used her acceptance speech to thank the Foundation.
“It was a shock when my name was read out,” she said. “The foundation means everything to me. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without it.
“I don’t like to think about where I would be without it.