It’s not every day that you receive an e mail inviting you to afternoon tea at a private reception in the House of Lords.
Representatives from rugby clubs around the Country had been invited to hear about the work of The Atlas Foundation. This charity was founded by Jason Leonard to bring support to people around the world through the power of the game.
After showing our invitation at Black Rod’s Garden entrance & clearing the airport style security, we were ushered into the Cholmondeley room & enjoyed a cup of tea on the terrace overlooking the river Thames. I placed a Holt shirt, ball & club tie on the signing table.
Lord Addington opened the proceedings to welcome the group to the House of Lords, mentioning that he’d noticed the Holt merchandise on the signing table, his old rival club when he used to play for Lakenham! Dominic Hubbard, 6th Baron Addington, is a British Peer who speaks in the House of Lords on Sport and Disability. He was a founder member and remains Captain of the Commons and Lords Rugby Football Union Club, playing as prop for the Parliamentary team.
Jason Leonard OBE, Former England prop, appeared for England 114 times plus 5 times for the British and Irish Lions, and won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He was President of the RFU in 2015 and hosted the Rugby World Cup in England. As well as having a busy and successful corporate career, he is a prolific supporter of charities and has raised over £2M through his annual dinners for a number of rugby, youth and health charities.
The Atlas Foundation works through a global network of rugby champions to support projects that use rugby to improve the lives of some of the poorest people on earth. Through rugby based projects Atlas feeds, clothes and educates as well as giving the fun, friendship and respect that only rugby can provide.
Atlas also support the rugby community in the UK. Personal funds for clubs, families and individuals can be set up to support rugby projects, including fundraising to pay for a team tour. You can set up a fund, secure gift aid and Atlas will pay a grant without any fees involved.
Please do speak with me if you are planning to fundraise for a tour in 2018 & I will explain more & put you in touch with the lovely team at Atlas.
We will be auctioning the signed club shirt, tie & ball at our annual dinner in November to raise funds to help complete our changing rooms, the final stage of our club redevelopment. Here are some photo’s of the event & evidence of Jason’s signature!
Updated 21:20 - 25 Sep 2017 by Joanna Storey
Hon Club Secretary