May 30, 2018
Success for Saracens Sport Foundation
At the end of another phenomenal season for Saracens, we feel it is time to reflect on the success the Foundation has enjoyed this year as well.
It has been a busy time for everyone here at Saracens Sport Foundation with our programmes firing on all cylinders and our fundraising team organising events left, right and centre.
Our dancers have been boogying their way through the season. With 600 school children performing at London Stadium and over 300 Love to Dancers rocking their way around the Christmas tree at their annual Christmas party, it has been a great year for all our movers and shakers. We also would like to wish Saracens School of Cheer and Saracens Elite the best of luck in their upcoming Cheer competitions!
From dancing to running - this year our 6 marathon runners outdid themselves, so far raising more than £14,000 for the Foundation! A special shout out has to go to our Foundation colleague Ruth Kent who took on the mighty challenge of 3 marathons in 3 weeks and smashed it, raising £2416.00 so far in the process – a mammoth effort from her. Another highlight to come out of the marathon was Robbie Corker’s story. Robbie is one of our Monday night Sarrie’s Skills and Sarrie’s Track Club members. Living with autism, Robbie struggles with crowds and loud noises, so the marathon you would have thought, would not be for him. However, having run half the marathon with his Dad, David, who had been struggling with limited training due to injury, he went on to run the last 10 miles of the marathon alone also making his way home by himself – the first time he has ever done anything like that. The confidence that running gave him has really inspired everyone at the Foundation and Saracens as a whole this year.
Some of our standout success this season has come from our rugby-based programmes. Out first Project Rugby Festival was held at Allianz Park on the 18th April. Project Rugby is one of our newer programmes aiming to increase participation in rugby for people from traditionally underrepresented groups. The festival was extremely successful, with over 60 participants taking part and such was the success, a second festival is now on the cards for later this year!
On Sunday 29th April, we took our Sarrie’s RFC participants and volunteers to the Saracens vs London Irish game away at London Irish for their annual Sarrie’s RFC Tour. The participants took part in a training session in the morning before sitting down to watch the main event. Sarrie’s RFC is our disABILITY rugby club for young people aged 14 to 24 with high functioning disabilities. They train on our very own 4G pitch using rugby as a tool for change. It was a fantastic day for all involved and the boys had so much fun and are already looking forward to next year’s tour.
Keeping with rugby, our Get Onside programme works with young offenders at HM Prison Feltham. Over 8 weeks, staff work with a group of inmates to instil in them the values of Saracens Rugby Club, culminating in a tournament organised and run by the inmates in which teams are entered from Saracens Ltd, the Foundation, Allianz and CME. We are proud to announce the Foundation’s unbeaten streak as tournament winners lives on!
Moving swiftly on to one of our Health & Wellbeing programmes, Move Like a Pro. We are incredibly proud of the participants who after 12 weeks of hard work (and a lot of fun) lost an INCREDIBLE combined weight of 66.8kg and 154cm off their waistlines!!! Huge congratulations to every one of our participants.
The programmes that Saracens Sport Foundation run are so important to the community and could not run without the fundraising efforts of all our patrons, volunteers and staff. It is important that we recognise the consistent efforts of the Pioneers on matchdays who bucket collect for us and have raised £3346 this season. Also all the volunteers that are so helpful throughout the year, you are invaluable to us and we could not do what we do without you, so THANK YOU!
And finally, on to our Foundation Matchday, the biggest fundraising event of the season. It was the culmination of an incredible year of matchday fundraising and it did not disappoint!
A special thank you to Alex Buga, a participant of Sarrie’s RFC. Alex is a young man with Downs Syndrome, a familiar friendly face at the Foundation and guaranteed to raise a smile. Alex was such a trooper for us at this year’s Foundation Matchday, visiting the Hospitality clubs and boxes introducing himself and explaining what the Foundation does and why we do it. He, along with our volunteers, the generosity of our partners and sponsors, as well as a huge effort from staff, helped to raise over £50,000 on Foundation Matchday alone. It has broken all our records of Foundation Matchdays to date and is a testament to the generosity of all Saracens fans, sponsors and associates alike! THANK YOU!
Whilst the rugby season has come to an end, the Foundation doesn’t stop! We have lots of events coming up over the summer and clubs like Sarrie’s Swing are still running. Stay tuned for news on all our challenge events such as our amazing team of walkers taking part in Race to the Stones on 14-15th July; those taking part in the British 10K on 15th July and of course ‘Saracens Cycle for Change’ on 17th June which it is not too late to sign up to! Visit www.bit.ly/cycleforchange to sign up.
Thank you again for all the support this year from Saracens, our partners and our participants. We are looking forward to another successful and memorable season next year!