The Darlington Mowden Park Sharks and Vodafone have signed a new deal that will see the telecommunications giant become the main shirt sponsor from the 2022/23 season.
The Darlington-based outfit were on the verge of dropping out of the Allianz Premier 15s, the top division of women's domestic rugby in England but their crowd funding campaign along with the new Vodafone deal is reported to have help them raise to the tune of £32,000.
The funds raised will allow the club's the only fully amateur side in the Allianz Premier 15s and the sole top-flight team to cover travel, accommodation and medical fees.
“We’re delighted to support the DMP Sharks as part of our long-term commitment to women’s sport in the UK, building on our existing partnerships with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Armed Forces Women’s Rugby Team and following our role on the Women’s Lions feasibility steering group,” said Max Taylor, chief commercial officer at Vodafone.
“The passion and commitment shown by everyone at the club, as well as in the local community, over the last few months has been truly inspiring. We are looking forward to an exciting season ahead.”
Sharks co-captain Mackenzie Thomas-Roberts expressed delight over the news: “It was really emotional, but seeing the fans and the local community get behind us was incredible. We even had young girls who were prepared to sell their jerseys to help raise money for the team. These are the players that we want to inspire, and we hope that one day they will come and play for us.”