The team at Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC have joined forces with an age grade academy on the other side of the world to send a package of rugby kit otherwise destined for land fill, to support the development of age grade rugby in Fiji.
After hearing an after-dinner presentation from an ex-Fijian international rugby player, Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC President, Scott Carruthers, was surprised to learn the difficulty that young rugby players in the southern hemisphere nation's experience accessing playing kit and often play barefoot.
“There is a chronic shortage of kit available to the youth in the South Sea Islands, due to its availability and more importantly, expense. Whitley Bay Rockcliff has a massive Age Grade community of over 400 children from under 6’s up to the Colts feeding its senior ranks. Following a new sponsorship deal with Gilbert we found ourselves with plenty of new and redundant rugby kit.” he explains.
Working alongside head of age grade rugby, Martin Train, and kit and boot swap manager, Richard Maslen, the kit surplus to the club’s requirements has been collected to support this cause.
The first package of 30 full sets of kit and boots is ready for dispatch. Our age grade teams have also been encouraged to make ‘pen pals’ by including photos and letters to be sent with the package.
The package is destined for a rugby academy in Suva, the capital and largest city in Fiji, which is managed by ex-Leicester Tiger and Fijian international Seremaia Bai who receives no financial support for the children who attend.
Thanks to the support of The Newcastle Falcons and sponsorship from The Geordie Baker the package is ready to be dispatched.
Whitley Bay Rockcliff are continuing to collect surplus kit and boots to support further donations to developing rugby nations with similar needs. Should any other club or organisation wish to replicate the programme please contact the Whitley Bay Rockcliff President via our club web site.