Wasps are set to sign a Covenant with the British Armed Forces this weekend.
The club will officially pledge its support to the British Armed Forces at half-time in the game against Northampton Saints this Sunday, April 9 (kick off 3pm).
In Wasps’ annual Stinger fixture, deputy chairman Nick Eastwood will join Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer KCB DSO MBE, Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) at the MOD’s Permanent Joint Headquarters and President of Army Rugby, on the pitch to sign the Armed Forces Covenant. It is a written, voluntary pledge by Wasps to support the British Armed Forces community.
In this instance, the pledge will see the Armed Forces holding one military match day per season at the Ricoh Arena, starting this Sunday where SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity for veterans and their families – will be fundraising.
Members of the Armed Forces will be able to benefit from a buy one, get one free ticket offer for Wasps v Northampton Saints this Sunday, through the Army West Midlands Brigade.
The Armed Forces will provide Wasps’ players with opportunities to go on leadership and training courses and assist with some of the club’s wide-ranging community programmes.
This Sunday at the Ricoh Arena, there will also be a Military Village in Car Park D, where supporters can take a closer look at military vehicles and equipment from West Midlands Brigade Units. The Village will host a range of exciting events for fans to enjoy, including climbing walls, soft ball ranges and Military lunches and taster pots. The day is being supported by the RLC, MERCIAN Regt, 202 Field Hospital, The Royal Signals Regiment, 4 Para and Warwickshire Cadets. The Band of the Mercian regiment will be playing before the match and at half-time.
Wasps’ back row Guy Thompson, who is from Hereford, which is steeped in military history, joined Nick Eastwood at the official launch at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday.
The back row, who has recently returned to first team action from injury, said: “To see Premiership Rugby clubs like Wasps supporting our Armed Forces is fantastic.
“Having grown up in a strong military area and with my dad being a former member of the Armed Forces, I appreciate the sacrifices Serving Personnel make, often spending months at a time away from their families in order to protect us all. For me, this is the least we can do in return, to help recognise the dedication they show to their country.
“I know there will be various military personnel and SSAFA volunteers around the Ricoh Arena on match day, so I’d encourage people to take some time out and show their support.”
Wasps’ deputy chairman Nick Eastwood added: “We’re always looking for ways in which we can have a positive impact across different areas of the community, so we’re delighted to have forged this relationship with the Armed Forces, who we proudly support.
“This marks the start of what we hope will be a long-lasting association and we look forward to seeing the relationship evolve over the coming years.”
Lt Col Richard Jones added: “The Military in the Midlands are delighted to be signing the Armed Forces Covenant with Wasps. This is the beginning of a close relationship with the club and will see not only annual Military Match days here at the Ricoh Arena, but regular interactive leadership and team building training between Wasps and the Military Community and regular outreach exercises with the local Community.
“Wasps are showing their support today for our Armed Forces family and the Covenant formalises that support for which we are very grateful. The Military is a key component of the community here in Warwickshire and the County has a proud Military tradition. We are delighted to have formalised our relationship with Wasps.”
Tickets for Wasps v Northampton Saints can be purchased from wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £16 for adults while under-10s go free in most categories.
Members of the Armed Forces will also be able to benefit from a buy one, get one free ticket offer for Wasps v Northampton Saints this Sunday, through the Army West Midlands Brigade.