The Rugby Project and Wooden Spoon Kent
Now that the playing season is over, clubs and teams are reflecting on the highs, lows and what could have beens on the pitch. The fumbled pass, the missed conversion, that moment the team hooked up all the phases and scored the magnificent try that will be the talk of the clubhouse for years to come.
Let us for a moment look at what happens off the field and the amazing work being undertaken within the rugby community to support and raise funds for good causes within the community. Two in particular, worthy of mention at this point are Wooden Spoon Kent, and The Rugby Project.
On April 24th, The Rugby Project held their awards evening at Medway RFC. The Rugby Project was set up last year by Chris Smith and Grant Scandling, and was built on the same foundations as the Young Leaders in Cricket (YLIC) which Grant was involved in. YLIC is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award where youngsters complete coaching, umpiring, scoring, and groundsman courses as well as fundraising and volunteering in their communities/cricket clubs and raise money for charity. ECB was so impressed with the scheme that they adopted it throughout cricket. It is now a National Programme.
Chris and Grant have adopted and adapted this for rugby with the intention to get and keep youngsters involved in rugby. They are both huge rugby fans and are involved in various activities across the County. They are part of the Kent Society of Rugby Football Union Referees (KSRFUR). The Society is a Partner Club of Wooden Spoon Kent and the only society of referees to be a partner club in the UK & Ireland.
Last year at KSRFUR’s AGM Chris and Grant presented Kent Spoon a cheque for £657.83 which was raised by 22 young people. Like KSRFUR they were both impressed that all money raised for Kent Wooden Spoon is spent on our projects for disadvantaged children in Kent. Not a penny going towards HQ administrative or running costs.
For the 2022/23 session, they had 50 youngsters sign up from various rugby clubs and schools. 33 completed the course and received certificates.
There were special mentions for the 3 top fundraisers. 3rd place went to Jake Sales £264.00. Number of Keepie Uppies with a rugby ball in an hour, any less than three in a row not counted, managed 3,161. 2nd place Medway RFC girls, Honor Marwood, Rose Stoke & Titiyanh Samuels. £310.00 each, a total of £930.00. Sponsored walk. Believe it was a half marathon. 1st place Charlie Mumford of Simon Langton School & Canterbury RFC £1,315.00. Running 126 miles in six weeks (the duration of the Six Nations). The equivalent of running from Canterbury RFC to Twickenham national stadium and back.
At the awards evening, Wooden Spoon Kent representative Peter Johnston was invited to say a few words about the organisation and present a certificate to Charlie plus a Wooden Spoon rugby jersey and rugby socks. Together Wooden Spoon was presented with a cheque for the amazing amount of £4,000. The final amount received was £4,200.
Credit to Chris and Grant’s drive, they have already signed up 60 youngsters for 2023/2024 session and confirmed they will be supporting Kent Spoon again.
It is not just on the field of play that heroes and legends are made. The Rugby Project and Wooden Spoon not only deserve our applause, but they also need our support. To find out more about these initiatives, visit their websites at:
Wooden Spoon – https://woodenspoon.org.uk/region/kent/
The Rugby Project – https://therugbyproject.org/