Here is Cary Wright's account of a couple of amazing weekends
Wanderers and Sports fund raise money for Key Emergency Workers, Rugby Club, Local Schools and Community
Thanet Wanderers are a rugby club based at St. Peter’s Recreation Ground, Broadstairs, Kent.
During the past decade, like most grass roots sports clubs, the Thanet Wanderers have seen both the number of members and participation on the pitch decrease. However, over the past three years they have started to buck the trend: the last two weekends have been fantastic examples of how this is happening.
With tremendous support from the Paul Keohane Sports Fund, London Array, Miles and Barr and England RFU, the Wanderers have committed to a Schools and Community Programme where their stated aim is, “to welcome, engage and involve as many members of our local schools and community as possible, this can be as Players, Supporters, Volunteers or Visitors. We want to make everyone feel welcome and to feel involved in shaping the present and the future of our wonderful club”.
Over two weekends the Paul Keohane Sports Fund and Thanet Wanderers Junior & Mini Section organised online challenges to engage their membership and wider community, whilst raising money to support the Schools and Community Programme, the Club’s thriving Junior section & key emergency workers.
On Friday 1st May, the Paul Keohane Sport Fund launched its weekend challenge which ran until 6pm on Sunday. Participants were required to post a video of themselves recalling their association with the Wanderers, raising a toast, confirming a donation and nominating someone else to continue the challenge. By the end of the weekend there were over 700 posts, from people from around the globe aged 5 to 91. It was an amazing response and so many memories were shared, demonstrating clearly how important Wanderers Rugby Club is to so many. The video responses also cemented an absolute desire to support our club’s aim to reach out and involve our community.
On May Bank Holiday Friday 8th May, VE day, the Wanderers Junior and Mini section hosted an online End of Season Party to celebrate the past seasons successes and raise funds to improve the club facilities for the youth section. This is the first of a number of planned community events. The Party kicked off with an online training session, attended by over 100 mini and junior players, preceded by a 2-minute silence to respect and remember the sacrifices of those who served and serve. At Midday Chris Panteli and Andy Bull commenced the Ice Bucket Challenge and urged people to “Partake, Donate and Nominate.” This was followed by a best BBQ competition and an online quiz.Chris Panteli, Junior Chairman at Thanet Wanderers stated “Exceptional efforts, fantastic challenges, very funny videos, lots of banter and I’m sure it will continue. What we’ve shown is what a great community we really are”.
At the conclusion of the fund-raising events, John Keohane, Trustee of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund said “My fellow trustees and I am staggered by the response to the fund-raising events, it truly shows what a fantastic community club Thanet Wanderers is. The charity was set up for my brother, who we unfortunately lost five years ago.
Paul was an absolutely passionate sportsman and truly believed in the power of sport and how it can bring a community together. I know he’ll be looking down and smiling and saying great effort. This is all about getting children into sport, getting them engaged, giving them great role models and doing all the right things to provide opportunity for our school children and community”.
Both weekends were oversubscribed, with the social media platforms utilised needing constant management as capacity reached the maximum limits. This was a solid measurement of how our membership and supporters are behind this great community endeavour. Over the two weekends over 1,000 videos and photos were posted and over£12,000.00 was raised.
£1,000.00 of the money raised will be provisioned to support a ‘thank you day’ for local emergency, key and care workers at a Thanet Wanderers lunch, when Rugby resumes. The balance will be used to support the Schools and Community Programme and to improve facilities at the club for the Juniors Section and Community, including floodlights and storage.
Club President Colin Whiteley praised the amazing fund-raising efforts of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund and the Club’s junior section coaches and players. The resultant generosity of the community will allow much needed renovation of some essential equipment and help fund future projects when rugby returns.
This was a great community effort from our Wanderers community!
For details on the Paul Keohane Sports Fund, visit: www.PKSF.co.uk
For details on Thanet Wanderers and the Schools and Community Programme, visit: www.thanetwanderers.co.uk
Pic shows our oldest member Doctor Roddy Macaulay with his grandson Gabriel taking on the Challenge.
15 May 2020
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