· STARS OF TV AND SPORT UNITE TO SUPPORT THE MATT RATANA RUGBY FOUNDATION LAUNCH
Stars from television and sport have offered their support to launch a new charitable foundation to honour the work of fallen Police Sergeant Matt Ratana shot while on duty at Croydon custody suite in September 2020
Maro Itoje, Gabby and Kenny Logan, Piers Morgan and Nick Knowles are amongst more than 40 well known faces from television and sport to support the foundation, launched in his honour by his friends and supported by his partner.
The Matt Ratana Foundation will aim to support projects that Matt cared passionately about - with a focus on young people and rugby.
Commenting on the charity’s launch, Su Bushby, Matt’s partner said:
“Matt believed that creating community was vital to individual growth and success. His work as a coach of all ages and as part of the police was a clear demonstration of this belief.
I am delighted to support the launch of the Foundation today and look forward to seeing it bring to life his legacy, with projects that would have been very close to his heart.”
Award winning classical artist Joanna Forest has recorded a special version of the rugby anthem "World in Union" which also launches today. All proceeds from the recording will go directly to the foundation.
Sean Morgan, representative of the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation added:
“It is wonderful to officially launch the foundation today. We are looking forward to building and working on projects we know would make Matt proud.
2020 has shown us the value and importance of strong community. It is our hope and vision that the work of the foundation continues Matt’s lifelong efforts to foster community spirit through rugby.”
Donations to the Foundation can be made at www.mattratanarugby.foundation
Matt's tragic death has touched the world and tributes have already been paid to him by the New Zealand Police and the Metropolitan Police.
The rugby family has also commemorated Matt’s life including tributes from his many friends at East Grinstead and across Sussex and a recognition of his contribution to rugby by the All Blacks and the England team
A number of current and former rugby players and celebrities have pledged their support of the foundation including: Jason Leonard OBE, Rugby World Cup winner 2003 and Chairman of the Atlas Foundation said, “I am delighted to support the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation and to be able through the Atlas Foundation to provide a platform to help it support young people around the world. There is real synergy in the work of the two Foundations, using the rugby community to help build better lives for others. We look forward to a strong partnership that honours Matt’s sacrifice.”
Maro Itoje, England and Saracens second row, and Atlas Foundation Trustee said, “It is an honour to be part of this legacy for a man who served his country and his sport with such dedication and selflessness.”
Lisa Mickel, Press Officer, +447720 711416
Note to editors:
The Matt Ratana Foundation is set up with the support of the Atlas Foundation (UK Charity No 1161179).
Su Bushby will not be available for further comment at this time but spokespeople for the Foundation are available for interview.
Matt (Matiu) Ratana was born in the Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand and was of Māori descent. He moved to England in 1989, working for the Metropolitan Police for nearly 30 years. Matt also served with New Zealand Police, joining the British High Commission Wing in 2003 and serving in the Auckland City and Counties Manukau police districts before returning to the UK in 2008.
Aside from his work in the police, Matt worked tirelessly as rugby coach for all ages and mentor to young people. He spoke often to his various teams of the importance of ‘Whānau’, which in Maori means, your community, your family. He was an inspirational leader, friend and teacher.
About the Matt Ratana Foundation:
Funds raised by the Matt Ratana Foundation will support the design and delivery of initiatives that support community and school’s rugby both nationally and internationally.
The charity aims to support local training, exchange experiences with clubs in New Zealand and invest in improving equipment and facilities at clubs across the UK.
About The song:
‘World In Union (2020)’ officially released on the 20 November 2020, under the record label ‘Matt Ratana Music’. To download click here https://slinky.to/WorldInUnion