Haggards Crowther in Africa
For some time we have been a keen supporter and sponsor of Barnes Rugby Football Club, and were delighted when we recently learnt of a rugby based initiative which the club is connected with. Our association with Barnes RFC is a long one stretching back over 20 years, to when Tim Haggard played for the club. We are now a Platinum Sponsor, helping to provide ongoing support for the club and its players, as well as acting as its accountant.
The Chairman of the Barnes RFC, Michael Whitfield, is also a Trustee of a charity called The Atlas Foundation, which raises money for projects (mainly schools and clubs) seeking to establish rugby teams. Atlas’ ethos is that playing rugby enables young people to learn a range of skills including team work, collaboration, discipline, health and fitness, commitment and fun.
A recent trip to South Africa enabled Atlas to visit some of the schools and clubs which had already received some of its funding, or had applied to do so. The trip was led by Atlas’ founder Jason Leonard OBE – who was capped 114 times by England and 5 times by the British & Irish Lions – together with three other rugby legends, Shane Byrne, Bobby Skinstad, former Springbok Captain and 24 capped Welsh prop, Peter Rogers.
As part of the visit the charity took in a school’s competition at Chamobondo Primary School in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The game was played in kit supplied by Atlas, on a pitch of sand and small rocks, with all the children in bare feet. Despite the lack of footwear and playing surface the children played with passion, energy and at great pace!
The winning team from Ingagula Primary School – who had driven over 100 kilometers from Zese Hwenge in an old bus – were presented with a set of Barnes RFC kit on which the Haggards Crowther name is proudly displayed. All teams also received much needed boots to help with future training and matches.