Sep 26, 2016


Saracens stars have been rolling back the years, dusting off their old childhood memorabilia and reminiscing about their first grassroots amateur sports clubs in support of this year’s Aviva Community Fund.

 Owen Farrell, Schalk Burger and Jamie George have shared memories of their earlier years, dug out old images complete with over-sized kits and dodgy haircuts, revealed why they started playing the game, and explained why grassroots clubs are so important for kids growing up.

 The Aviva Community Fund, a nationwide initiative that lends a helping hand to grassroots sports clubs and community causes, has reopened for a second year to offer funding of between £1,000 and £25,000.

 This year, Aviva, the proud title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby, has introduced a ‘Sport in the Community’ category, which means the hundreds of thousands of grassroots sports clubs across the UK can apply or reapply for funding in a sport-specific category this time around. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 11th October.

Farrell, who started playing at Wigan St. Patricks, said: “I’d definitely encourage my club to the Aviva Community Fund. To get the backing and get as many kids down there to play, join in and take part would be brilliant.”

Burger, whose first rugby experience was at school in South Africa said: “I think your favourite memories about rugby are when you first picked up a ball and just started running with it – whether it was in the right direction or not. You’re spending time with your best mates and obviously you’ve got some good coaches looking after you but the main thing is just about enjoyment. That’s what rugby should be all about. I think the Aviva Community Fund is on the right track – it’s about helping the grassroots.

George, who started playing rugby at Hertford RFC, added: “I think these sports clubs are so vital for kids to get involved and learn. You really see people grow as people during that early stage of their sporting lives.”

Pete Markey, Brand & Marketing Communications Director at Aviva UK, said: “The Aviva Community Fund is the perfect way for Aviva to help communities come together and support the grassroots sports clubs and local causes that are central to a strong community. Last year, the Aviva Community Fund helped make a difference to hundreds of projects and causes the length and the breadth of the UK and we look forward to helping even more communities this year.”

 To enter your club for a chance to secure funding, visit or search for ‘Aviva Community Fund’.


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