St Benedict's supports RPA charity, Restart
St Benedict's and The Old Priorian Rugby Football Club (OPRFC) are delighted to announce that they have chosen Restart as their official sports charity this year.
St Benedict’s and the OPRFC, originally formed by alumni of St Benedict's School, have partnered with a significant number of charitable causes over the years, and have collectively voted to support Restart in 2021/2022, to help with the charity’s efforts supporting professional rugby players suffering from serious injury, illness or hardship.
Restart is the official charity of the Rugby Players Association and provides support for current and former professional rugby players in England, across the men’s and women’s game. The charity provides financial support for players forced to retire and unable to work due to serious illness or career changing injury, helping with medical costs, rehabilitation and home improvement for disabled access. Restart also provides often lifesaving emotional support for players and their families struggling with mental health issues through their 24/7 Confidential Counselling Service.
On a personal note, this partnership is extra special having spent several very enjoyable years at St Benedict’s with my older brothers back in the 80’s. I have always applauded the way the school and rugby club continues to give back to the community and I’m thrilled that the RPA’s official charity, Restart, will benefit from their support."Damian Hopley MBE, RPA CEO
St Benedict’s and the OPRFC look forward to working together with Restart to raise money and awareness of their incredible work within rugby. As part of the new sporting charity partnership, the school and local rugby club aim to shine a spotlight on Restart among their pupils, staff, parents, alumni and club members, and also organise fundraising activities and campaigns in aid of the charity to make sure their vital services can continue for players that rely on their support every season.
St Benedict’s Headmaster, Andrew Johnson, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Restart as one of our chosen charities for 2021/2022. St Benedict’s has a distinguished tradition of sporting excellence. The school promotes the highest sporting aspirations and is also committed to physical fitness and sport for all. Indeed, many of our pupils go on to play rugby at an international, national or amateur level with our alumni rugby club the OPRFC after leaving school.
“Supporting players through difficult times and ensuring their mental wellbeing and emotional needs are supported is a principle we as a school feel closely aligned with. We very much look forward to supporting the great work being carried out by Restart over the coming year.”
OPRFC Chairman Alex Pereira Inacio (OP 00) commented: “It is an honour to collaborate with St. Benedict’s School in supporting Restart Rugby to give back to the sport and the community we are all so embedded in.
“The OPRFC is built on support networks and thrives on ‘paying it forward’. Remaining true to the ethos of never being the grey man, something that is so instilled in rugby and rugby clubs, lends itself to the practical action Restart takes to help players and their families who have been affected by injury or mental health issues.
“The OPRFC looks forward to joining the Restart community with their mission to promote and protect the interests of their members, throughout their playing careers, and beyond.”
Damian Hopley MBE, Group CEO of The Rugby Players Association (RPA), said: “We are extremely grateful to St Benedict's School and Old Priorian RFC for supporting Restart as their official sporting charity. On a personal note, this partnership is extra special having spent several very enjoyable years at St Benedict’s with my older brothers back in the 80’s. I have always applauded the way the school and rugby club continues to give back to the community and I’m thrilled that the RPA’s official charity, Restart, will benefit from their support.
“Restart relies entirely on the generosity of fundraisers and donors to fund vital services and support to current and former professional rugby players struggling with serious injury, mental and physical illness and hardship. We look forward to working with St Benedict’s and OPRFC to raise awareness and funds for the important work our charity is doing within rugby for our female and male players.”
To find out more about Restart, their work and how you can support, please visit their website www.restartrugby.org.uk