Update 27th may 2020

Subjects: Charity fund raising and Club match fees

NM Ref Completes Crazy Charity Challenge

Many of you will know that Rab Cooper has been walking around his garden for charity. Below is his story:

During these strange times, the best of the British people has been on show, and none more so than the now legendary Sir Captain Tom Moore. Inspired by this great man, North Mids referee Rab Cooper took the initiative, creating, and now completing, his own marathon challenge in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

“I’ve wanted to raise money for this great charity for a while,” said Rab. “They funded much needed long-term therapy for a family member, when they could not afford to pay, or really wait for it. It changed their life. I will always be grateful.”

“I scratched my head for a while wondering what I could do, but then Captain Tom came along, and a lightbulb went off.”

The challenge? To walk 250 miles, covering the distance it would take to walk from the masonic grand lodge of Warwickshire to Freemason’s Hall in London, and then back again. But during lockdown that was obviously not possible, so he did it ‘virtually’. Rab took on the mammoth journey on the home turf of his own back garden.

“Thankfully, my garden is fairly long, otherwise I would have become very dizzy, very quickly!” laughs Rab. “And I’ve left a clear memento of my journey, as I’ve worn the grass out completely. We now have a clear oval track which, luckily, my son loves to ride his bike around. We are thinking of keeping it!”

35 days, and roughly 12,500 laps later, Rab completed his trek on Friday 22nd May.

“It has been a long, hot slog at times, but with the support, kindness and generosity shown by my family, friends and my referee colleagues, I have managed to keep going, and somehow managed to enjoy most of it! I wish to thank you all so much; it has been truly humbling experience.”

Rab’s JustGiving page will remain active for a few more weeks, and if you would also like to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fiveofnineclub

Society position on fund raising. The Society currently does not have its own nominated charity although the build up to our Centenary season may change that. Therefore it is not in a position to support one fund raising activity over another, it is for the individual member to make that decision.

Club Fees The Board are very aware of the financial difficulties that will affect probably all of the North Midlands clubs when rugby starts again. To help, the Society will definitely not be increasing its fees to clubs during the season.  Additionally, every effort will be made to further ease the burden by looking at not charging Clubs for a period of time if that is at all possible.

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