Charity teams up with Rugby School to help celebrate 200 years of rugby - The Rugby Observer

Charity teams up with Rugby School to help celebrate 200 years of rugby

A CHILDREN’S charity which works in the rugby football community has joined forces with the birthplace of the sport, Rugby School, as it commemorates 200 years of the game.

The Wooden Spoon charity will, in partnership with the school, launch a series of events to honour rugby, the community and their core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.

The partnership, aiming to raise a total of £50,000 over the year, will help elevate awareness and funds to support Wooden Spoon’s work with vulnerable children and young people.

For the last 40 years, Wooden Spoon has established itself as a leading voice within the rugby community by working with a nationwide team of individuals and ambassadors to raise vital financial resources to launch life-changing projects across the UK and Ireland.




Not only does 2023 mark the 40th anniversary of Wooden Spoon’s inauguration, but it commemorates two centuries of Rugby School’s history, where in 1823, local lad William Webb Ellis, with ‘a fine disregard for the rules’ of football, took the ball in his arms and ran with it, originating the game of rugby football.

Throughout 2023, Rugby School, along with Wooden Spoon, will be celebrating the anniversary by hosting memorial events including a bicentenary art competition, an exhibition in the School Museum, rugby festivals, and an attempt at creating the world’s largest rugby scrum on the hallowed pitch where the game began, The Close.


The main event of the series will see Wooden Spoon showcase two games of rugby when a men’s and women’s team of legends from the home nations will take on a team of Wooden Spoon Vets on June 24 on The Close. The men’s and women’s teams will be captained by Wooden Spoon Ambassadors and rugby legends Tamara Taylor and Lee Mears.

Ian Holroyd, Chair of Wooden Spoon Warwickshire, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Rugby School to celebrate not only 200 years of rugby, but also our 40th anniversary.

“Given we share so many of the same core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship, it’s fantastic to be able to join forces and give something back to the sport that has enabled us to both exist and grow.

“We can’t wait to get started and look forward to inviting you all to attend the brilliant programme of events we’ve planned to celebrate this monumental occasion.”

Peter Green, the Executive Headmaster of Rugby School Group, said: “I am delighted that Wooden Spoon children’s charity is partnering with Rugby School to mark the bicentenary of rugby football next year.

“Throughout 2023, we will be hosting a large number of celebratory events as well as matches – to be played here on The Close, the ground where the game was invented – many of which will raise funds for charity.

“I have been a lifelong supporter of rugby – as player, coach, and spectator – and have always been struck by the strong and enduring friendship that the game fosters, its sense of community and inclusivity wherever it is played, and the trust in each other that teams demonstrate on the pitch. Even in fierce competition, players and coaches are respectful of each other.

“Rugby School encourages these qualities in our own community of students and staff, and it is entirely fitting that Wooden Spoon, a charity based within the rugby community and helping disadvantaged children across the country, will be able to benefit from the funds raised at the school across this special year.”

Visit www.rugbyschool.co.uk/200-anniversary/events for more information on the celebratory events for 2023, or www.woodenspoon.org.uk for more information on Wooden Spoon.

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