This week, players from the Club visited Tedworth House, one of the Charity’s four Recovery Centres in the UK, for a tour of the world-class facilities.
Three of the Club’s international players – Niko Matawalu (Fiji), Rhys Priestland (Wales) and Semesa Rokoduguni (England) – met with beneficiaries of Help for Heroes, who described the support they have received from the Charity in their ongoing battles of recovery.
The new partnership between Bath Rugby and Help for Heroes will see both parties work together to raise funds for the Charity, and to deliver specific programmes alongside Bath Rugby Foundation (the Club’s charitable arm). The partnership builds on a pre-existing relationship between Bath and Help for Heroes, which has been supporting wounded soldiers and their families since 2007, and with players returning from injury sharing state-of-the-art equipment at Tedworth House facility, including the anti-gravity treadmill.
Rokoduguni, who is still attached to the British Army as a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, expressed his delight at the announcement. “I’m very proud that the Club has joined Help for Heroes in this partnership,” said the winger, who met some of his regimental colleagues during the visit. “I’ve seen first-hand the brilliant work that goes on in places such as Tedworth House. Sport is a huge part of military life, which is why I believe this partnership will be so effective.”
Tarquin McDonald, Managing Director of Bath Rugby, said the partnership is a natural fit for both parties: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Help for Heroes. The Club has historically enjoyed strong military ties, with a number of our players coming from military families, and this is an excellent and worthwhile cause. We look forward to working together with Help for Heroes both in terms of raising funds, and extending the reach of the programmes they deliver.”
Simon Halliday, Patron of Help for Heroes and former Bath and England player, said: “Bath Rugby and Help for Heroes have held a strong relationship for many years, particularly in the area of Sports Recovery. Indeed, the aim of Bath Rugby Foundation closely replicates those of Help for Heroes Sports Recovery, with the focus on motivation, raising self-esteem and confidence, overcoming set-backs and improving life skills. We are incredibly excited about the partnership. Planning is already underway for some exciting events next year. Watch this space!”