Sport

Published: June 8, 2020 | Updated: June 8, 2020

Rugby club tackles one of biggest fundraising drives in its 127 years with £20k campaign

All 18 teams at Bournemouth Rugby – from minis to the 1st team, including wheelchair, touch rugby as well as volunteers – are taking part in the 1,111 fundraising campaign. Picture: DK Capture Photography.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Bournemouth Rugby Club has officially launched one of the biggest fundraising campaigns in its 127-year history.

All 18 teams at the club – from minis to the 1st team, including wheelchair, touch rugby as well as volunteers – are taking part in the 1,111 fundraising campaign to raise £20,000.

The aim is to cover the distance needed to get around all 6 Nations stadiums over the next few weeks, the first being Twickenham.

Players or volunteers will run, walk or wheel their chosen miles each day with each team manager compiling the overall distance covered.

Participants will be encouraged to find sponsorship, with each team having a target of £1,111 to raise towards the overall target.

As well as players securing their own individual sponsorship, the club is encouraging the wider supporters of Bournemouth Rugby to choose a team to support and donate to the club’s GoFundMe page.

About 500 players and volunteers are involved in the campaign.

Among the people taking part is President Doug Warren, pictured left, who has been at the club since playing as a young lad since 1961.

He is doing  a sponsored litter-pick along Sandbanks beach, sponsoring himself at £1 a mile with others invited to sponsor Doug as part of the 1,111 challenge

Wendy King, Bournemouth Rugby’s Operations Director, said “It has been amazing to see the support from our community with the incredible donations received so far to help reach our target of £20,000.

“On the back of this, we wanted to encourage full club engagement and a sense of fun competitiveness from within our rugby family.

“Could our Under 6 players get ahead of our 1st team players, for instance?

“Our coaches have continued to support players virtually and this challenge will not only be fun, it will help to encourage our players to continue their fitness, get outside and bring the natural competitiveness of rugby off the pitch to a virtual platform for now.”

Wendy King. Picture: DK Capture Photography.

Wendy added that Bournemouth Rugby has been hit hard by the pandemic crisis with lost revenue from the cancelled youth and mini festival as well as income from 1st team match days.

So far £4,500 has been raised for the 1,111 campaign.

Anyone wishing to support a team is urged to visit the club’s GoFundMe page here and simply add the team you wish to support in the comments section.

Bournemouth Rugby operates four senior teams, academy, girls, U6 to U16 youth and mini, wheelchair, performance and social touch rugby.

It also does community team coaching in 13 local schools.

The club currently trains (albeit not while Covid-19 restrictions are in place), at BU Sports Campus, Chapel Gate.