SSE, has launched its National Community Partnership with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) alongside ambassadors, England International Tom Croft, former World Cup winner, Danny Grewcock and former British & Irish Lion, John Bentley. Over the last few weeks, the ambassadors have been busy putting National and Divisional First XV rugby players through their paces and supporting SSE in asking the question, ‘What Clubs Need’.
The three year partnership will see SSE invest significantly to support community rugby in England and take on the title sponsorship of the National and Divisional Leagues. Tom Croft headed to Bracknell RFC, which was the first club to be announced as a beneficiary of the additional resources, as SSE contributed to an existing fund for their much-needed flood lights.
England flanker and World Cup hopeful Tom Croft enjoyed the event, which brought back memories of his own community rugby background at Newbury RFC before joining the Leicester Tigers academy: “Having grown up in the English club rugby system, I know how much difference any additional support and investment can make to local rugby clubs – especially the smaller clubs in the lower Leagues. It’s great to see SSE taking an interest in the future of the game by investing where it is needed most. That will make all the difference. It certainly has here at Bracknell.”
Only a week later SSE headed to Percy Park RFC in Newcastle with community ambassadors Danny Grewcock and John Bentley to help deliver the good news. The pair put the club’s First XV through their paces in a gruelling training session for 90minutes. SSE provided the club with much needed equipment and funding for a weekly training session for their most promising players.
Former World Cup Winner and new Bath Academy Director, Danny Grewcock commented: “Club rugby at community level is so important to our game. Barkers Butts in Coventry was my training ground and I saw there how important sponsorship, support and funding is to the success of a club. I loved coming here to Percy Park today to see some of that support put into practice.”
And adding to this, former British & Irish Lion, John Bentley commented: “We had a great time today, putting the First XV through their paces! It’s important to recognise that clubs like Percy Park could generate the next England international, so to see SSE coming in with much-needed support for clubs all over England is really encouraging for the growth and success of rugby in England.”
SSE will continue to support both Bracknell RFC and Percy Park RFC by supporting them with the resources they need. SSE is committed to supporting rugby clubs around England and will continue to provide them with the tailored support over the coming months to ensure that grass roots rugby stays at the very heart of England.
To have your say in SSE’s club rugby support programme and to tell them exactly what your club needs, log on now to www.SSERugby.com. Every respondent gets 10% off at the RFU’s online store, and those who offer greater detailed responses stand a chance of winning tickets to watch England in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.