Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall MBE was last night presented with a cheque for £150,000 live on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight show for money raised at the inaugural BT Sport Rugby Aid charity match in September this year.
Tindall, who was joined by McBusted’s Harry Judd who played in the game, was accepting the money in his role as patron for Rugby for Heroes which is the beneficiary charity of the funds raised. The charity game, which involved a mix of ex rugby pros, celebrities and serving members of the armed forces representing England and the Rest of the World, was the brainchild of the former England star alongside Alan Lamb and Simon Bailey of Rugby for Heroes and Kenneth Shepherd of Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group.
BT Sport Rugby Aid 2015 took place on the 4th September at Twickenham Stoop in front of 10,000 fans who saw England lose 29-36 to the Rest of the World in a hugely entertaining encounter which was also broadcast live on BT Sport. Rugby legends such as Jason Robinson, Shane Williams, Justin Marshall and Brad Thorn took part alongside a host of celebrity names including Harry Judd, Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and Louie Spence.
Of the £150,000 raised, approximately £70,000 has already been allocated to other military charities including, Hire a Hero, Veterans Aid, Future for Heroes and the On Course Foundation, which all provide support in a variety of different ways for ex-service men and women making the transition back in to civilian life. A further £70,000 has been set aside for Rugby for Heroes ‘Transition through Rugby' courses for 2015/16. The courses provide the opportunity for at least 70 service men and women to gain a Level 2 coaching qualification to assist with a future within the sport of Rugby.
Talking about the success of the event, Tindall said: “I’m honoured and delighted to have been involved in the first ever BT Sport Rugby Aid. As patron of Rugby for Heroes it had additional significance for me in that we generated such an amazing amount of money for a cause I feel very strongly about.
“I would like to thank all the players who took part, giving up their time and energy, and making the game such a success. It was obviously just a shame about the result! We were very lucky to have a great team behind the event and in particular I would like to thank our commercial partners who helped us raise such a huge sum that will really make a difference to helping military personal in their transition into normal life on their return from service. On behalf of everyone at Rugby for Heroes thank you to all those involved and everyone that donated.
“Training for Rugby Aid 2016 starts today and I am looking forward to it already!"
Grant Best, Executive Director of Programming and Creative at BT Sport, said: “Rugby Aid proved to be a huge success both in terms of money raised, and entertainment provided to fans who attended and tuned in to watch an exciting game of rugby. BT Sport is proud to have been involved in this fantastic event.”
Kenneth Shepherd, Director of Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group, added: “When Mike Tindall, Simon Bailey, Alan Lamb, Peter Philips and I first discussed Rugby Aid we could never have envisaged the success it became. Using their expertise alongside the team at Triple S, who have worked on many other high profile events, we were sure we could deliver to the charity not only a handsome amount of money, but an event and experience that everyone who was involved in and witnessed would enjoy.
“Not only would I like to thank Mike Tindall, Shane Williams and all the players, but also our commercial partners; BT, The Sun, Mentos, Canterbury, Norton Rose, Shepherd Offshore and our venue partner Harlequins. Triple S has created the building blocks for Rugby Aid 2016 to happen. One day we hope to fill Twickenham Stadium and take Rugby Aid worldwide.”
Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group are the exclusive format and Management Company behind Rugby Aid. Triple S is owned by Freddy Shepherd ex Newcastle United Chairman and Paul Stretford agent to Wayne Rooney.