So nice in Nice for Celtic Rail Rugby in World Cup fundraiser

The carnival is over for Celtic Rail Rugby, fundraising for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and taking in the sites of the South of France during the Rugby World Cup.

Celtic Rail Rugby – as the name might suggest – was forged from the rail sector including players from Transport for Wales, GWR, Cross Country, British Transport Police, and myriad trusted partners and features a good few veterans from all services in its ranks of players and supporters.

The club’s “tour journalist” Jonathan Edwards (ex-RAF) said:

We survived our trip – just! – and had a truly amazing time, and managed to keep that sponsorship ticking over.

On both legs of the flight, Stewart [Ekstrom-Gabb, also ex-RAF] had an announcement put out via the cabin crew, and during the 90 minutes we spent sat delayed on the plane leaving Nice.

Stewart even got up on the mic and spoke to all the passengers himself to ask them to donate, which raised over £200. The three-way tournament we played in against The Harvard Business School Rugby Team and Rugby Club William Webb Ellis in Menton was fantastic, despite one of the boys unfortunately fracturing his knee, but we won both games and he was able to fly home with us.

So far, including Gift Aid, Celtic Rail Rugby has raised more than £7,000 for SSAFA, the UK’s oldest tri-service charity and is well on the way to hitting its £7,500 target.

Jonathan added:

We’ve had great support from so many people and others, including the famous Scottish rugby commentator Jill Douglas, as well as sponsors Minerva Elite Performance, HGV Drivers, Talent Hire, Nautilus International, Casualty Resources, and Capital Apartments.

But we’re looking for one more push to get us to – or even better past – our target, because by achieving this, we’ll really be able to help SSAFA, which knows and understands the unique demands of service life whether in the UK or overseas and in their time of need, support Forces individuals and families to thrive.”

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