Swindon St George will run a charity 7’s and 9’s team this season with a view to one day playing in prestigious tournaments such as the London 9’s.
Whilst an appearance in the London 9’s is not the immediate focus for St George’s charity team, the club already plans to compete in four big local tournaments.
The prime objective of the charity side is to help raise funds and awareness for their partner charity Ted’s Smile.
Ted’s Smile was set up by the family of Ted Grove, who has suffered from the rare brain disease AADC from birth, and crucially promotes awareness of the disease.
St George have also secured sponsorship for their charity side from Swindon IT, Data and Security experts Select, who, amongst other things will be redesigning the club’s website this season.
Swindon St George chairman Richard White hailed the sponsorship deal and is excited about the launch of the charity team.
“We have already revealed that we will be running a charity 7/9’s team all in aid of our chosen good cause which is Ted’s Smile, it’s no secret that Ted is basically a residential superstar within the club,” said White. “We always look to promote the charity and the cause as much as we can and there is no better way to try to raise awareness of the condition and the charity itself than dedicating an out and out 7’s and 9’s team just for that cause. We’ve linked up with the Honeybadgers and Joe Smedley who have been around the scene for quite a while.
“Since then we have targeted four tournaments and then look to go from there really. The sort of circles we are looking to get into are the local ones but depending on how these go we have an idea of a showpiece event which is the London 9’s, which is a massive 9’s competition.”
Select managing director Lee Thelwall admitted the sponsorship deal was an exciting one for his company and he is delighted to be able to give something back to the local community.
“It is just a great opportunity to give something back into the community,” said Thelwall. “We are fortunate that we have a great team at work and in the areas that we specialise in then we can give our time and our resort. We just saw the opportunity and help out. It came across how passionate Rich (White) is about rugby and we are passionate about what we do so it just felt like a good mix to support by doing the website originally and then take it on as a really good project.”
Your Sport’s Steve Butt caught up with both Richard White and Lee Thelwall to discuss St George’s charity team.
Click on the video below to watch this interview.