Swindon St George Rugby League Club team up with Wooden Spoon
SWINDON St George Rugby League Club have become the first community-based grass roots rugby league club to join Wooden Spoon’s initiative to support vulnerable children in the local area.
The new venture will see the club join forces with Wooden Spoon Dorset & Wiltshire, after signing up to the Partner Club Programme. Through their newly formed partnership, the club aims to support the children’s charity of rugby with a variety of fundraising activities, which will go towards funding projects in the local area that help children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage.
Swindon St George are hoping to not only promote and raise awareness of rugby league within Swindon and Wiltshire and surrounding areas, but to also develop, grow and expand their club.
Currently Swindon St George are the only amateur grass roots club in the south west who are currently running 2 competitive senior open age men’s teams. In addition to their 2 seniors’ teams, they also offer youth rugby league for their u5s, u7s, u9s, u10s and u12/13s as well as recently relaunching their Wheelchair Rugby team and Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) team.
This in its self is a massive achievement for the club. Not just in terms of what the club can offer to the local community but the fact that the juniors, wheelchair and Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) teams were re-launched during the the COVID-19 pandemic, which really speaks volumes of what the club is all about and the interest and uptake that we have received from the local community.
Swindon St George Rugby League Club Chairman, Richard White said:
“The partnership with Wooden Spoon itself is a key and integral part of what we are looking to create at the club as we continue to push forward with being an inclusive club at the heart of our local community.”
The partnership follows a £8,550 grant from Wooden Spoon Dorset & Wiltshire in 2014 which funded 10 new wheelchairs. The wheelchairs were presented to the wheelchair rugby league and wheelchair basketball team, Swindon Shock and enabled both clubs to grow and offer bigger sessions.
In addition to the various teams run out of the club, they also run the Swindon St George cares program which is specifically designed around offer help for all thing’s mental health and wellbeing. This is open to not only all players, supports and friends of the club but also to anyone in the local community who feel they could do with speaking to our qualified Welfare officer.
“At the club we also have our very own charity 7s/9s team which is all in aid of the clubs chosen charity and good cause Ted’s Smile and the AADC Trust. We have been partnered with Ted’s Smile for the last several years with Ted himself being a massive part of what our club represents.
To show our support for Ted’s Smile and the AADC Trust, over the years the club have undergone various challenges ranging from charity boxing events, tough mudder’s, climbing Mount Snowdon to a few of the team preparing to tackle the gruelling RTTS (Race to the Stones) covering over 100km in 1 day on foot.
Each year at the club we also look to hold our annual clubs’ President’s Day which is in partnership of Ted’s Smile. This is the club’s opportunity to showcase everything SSG consisting of inter club games for our senior teams as well as our Legends and Masters. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 it looks as though we will be unable to hold this event this year.”
Through the wheelchair and LDRL teams, Swindon St George are hoping to be able to offer rugby league to everyone regardless of physical ability and to finally break down the barrier and stigma around disability within sports, which is something Wooden Spoon strongly stands by.
Richard White commented “Historically there has been a SSG rugby league wheelchair team in Swindon so we already know that there is interest for it and that there is a successful model in place for us to work from. Work has already well and truly begun off the field to make sure that the club hit the ground rolling as soon as it is safe for the wheels to resume training.”
Brett Bader, Chairman of Wooden Spoon Dorset & Wiltshire said
“It is fantastic to see the drive and enthusiasm from the club and their future plans to support young people within their community with opportunities”.
Want to find out more about becoming a Wooden Spoon Partner Club? We would love to hear from you. By teaming up, we can raise funds to support both your rugby club and projects for disadvantaged and disabled children and young people in your area.
Open to all rugby clubs in the UK and Ireland, the programme provides an opportunity to work with us to change children’s lives and secure mutual long-term gains through joint fundraising initiatives.
Partner clubs will benefit from our promotional prowess, merchandise, cost-saving savvy, celebrity contacts and strong links with the rugby community.