When Bath Rugby run out at Twickenham Stadium for The Clash in April they will be taking fifteen inspiring individuals onto the field with them in a unique way.
For the first time, this year’s limited-edition charity shirt will feature the Foundation’s own, very special XV – individuals whose determination to overcome the odds has seen them achieve remarkable success.
Over the coming weeks, we will profile each of the incredible beneficiaries who have been selected to appear on the shirt, which has been designed by Canterbury of New Zealand, Official Kit Supplier to the Club, and will raise funds for Bath Rugby Foundation after the game.
Matt Garvey, Club captain at Bath, said: “As players, we’re really honoured to be representing these fifteen amazing individuals at The Clash. The whole community is incredibly important to us, and we know that when we take to the field, we don’t just do so for ourselves, but on behalf of everyone supporting the Club.
“The Foundation work with some very inspirational young people, so it’s great to recognise them in this way, and to also help them continue the great work they do in the wider community in Bath.”
One of the special Foundation XV is the charity’s Inclusion Coach Becks Toan.
“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”.
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.”
The Clash sees the Club take on arch-rivals Leicester Tigers at the home of English rugby on Saturday 7th April. A fantastic day out is on offer, with free family entertainment before and after the game itself. Over 30,000 tickets have already been sold for The Clash, with prices starting at just £5 for children and £15 for adults. Tickets can be bought at www.bathrugby.com/theclash.
Bath Rugby Foundation is the charitable arm of Bath Rugby. The mission of Bath Rugby Community Foundation is to empower vulnerable children and young people in Bath and surrounding areas to succeed through programmes which focus on four areas: health, education, employability and inclusion.
Bath Rugby Foundation CEO Lynne Fernquest said: “20 per cent of children in Bath are living in poverty. We don’t believe this is right – and we want to help young people break down the barriers they are facing, to have the confidence and the tools to overcome adversity.
“We use the values of rugby to increase confidence and allow vulnerable young people to overcome barriers and create a better future.
“Our aim is to intervene early, so we can make the biggest impact. We believe it makes sense on every level to create strong children now rather than fix broken adults later.”