8th Mar, 2021

Bromsgrove's Touch Rugby event raises £1,500 for the Harry Bennett Foundation

Harry Leach 22nd Sep, 2020

THE DAD of Bromsgrove teenager Harry Bennett has thanked the town’s rugby club which raised £1,500 for the foundation set up in memory of his son.

Bromsgrove Rugby Club organised a day of touch rugby on September 12, and encouraged visitors to donate to the HB9 Foundation at the gate.

Picture by Andrew Jepson. s

Harry, who died suddenly earlier this year, was much-loved by his family and friends was well known for being very active, playing for Kings Norton Rugby Club and for Meadow Park FC.

He had also played for Bromsgrove Sporting’s youth teams, Bromsgrove Rugby Club and enjoyed cricket.

During the Tag Rugby event players from various age groups from U13s to veterans aka the Crusaders took part in three touch festivals to get people back playing and enjoying what was a fantastic day of rugby.

The club also wanted to raise some money for the HB9 Foundation which was set up in memory of Harry Bennett to enable everyone to have access to the life-enhancing benefits provided by sport.

The rugby on show had both the sublime and the ridiculous but was very entertaining for players and spectators alike.

Picture by Andrew Jepson. s

In the junior event it was great to see so many young players taking part.

The skills they displayed on the day show the club is in safe hands moving forward.

Thanks were given to Jamie Rodden and Dave Hodges for putting the time and effort in to run the event.

In the social events it was great to see the Colts taking on the crusaders with players spanning at least three generations.

Rick Foulds was among the oldest players on show at the age of 59.

The final in the end became a battle of the thirds as the balance between fitness and guile, told late in the day.

The eventual winners were Owen’s Owl’s who took down Evan Eagles in the final.

Picture by Andrew Jepson. s

In the Elite Touch Series, teams were allocated to the clubs major sponsors Adam Hewitt, Espares, Elliott Nash, DHC Services, Central Flow Screed Kings, Towell Rads, Reddistores and also Fews Marquees. The support of the firms has been invaluable in previous years but none more so in the current climate.

After the round robin stage and with the players wilting in the heat, the final was a shootout between The Central Flow Screed Kings and Espares Hornets.

The final was hotly contested with a split eye and some robust touches making it a true spectacle. The arrival of evergreen golden oldie Rich Mahony helped guide Espares to victory.

Speaking about the victory Will Harris stated that it was all down to great teamwork and sticking to the process.

Picture by Andrew Jepson. s

The day was a great success both on and off the field where thanks to the wonderful donations from people on the gate nearly £1,500 was raised for the HB9 Foundation.

Harry’s dad Andrew said: “It’s unbelievable that the club has managed to raise such a huge amount – the generosity shown by people was amazing.

“There wasn’t a specific amount on the door, people were just donating what they wanted to put in.

“I managed to get down there for a couple of hours on the day and the event worked really well.

“The rugby was great and the event was covid-secure.”

The day was also part of a national campaign aimed at getting people back into playing rugby.

There were junior, veterans and elite competitions held throughout the day.

First team coach, Dan Protherough, said: “It was great to see so many faces back down the club enjoying the fabulous weather.

“So many young players took part in the junior event.

“Thank you to everyone for the wonderful donations on the gate.”

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