As a significant year for the Foundation gets underway, we’ve got every reason to look forward eagerly to 2023. We're excited to announce our new partnership with the STAR Scheme, a wonderful initiative which shares our core values and ambitions. Established two years ago by an impressive cast of like-minded visionaries from Chew Valley RFC in Somerset, STAR’s origins are very much in the West Country, but its impact is already growing, and nationwide reach is the eventual goal.
Standing for “Support, Transform and Achieve through Rugby”, its mission is to make a difference to the lives of young people who are suffering, or have suffered, multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), poverty or mental health issues. On a practical level this involves financial sponsorship (by funding coaching, kit and transport), to get these kids, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, playing. Crucially, just like ourselves, STAR ensures that this assistance is consistent and ongoing, and provides supportive guidance and mentoring alongside the sporting element. Another key philosophy we share is that the approach must be collaborative and holistic, engaging with family, school, club and ultimately the wider community.
STAR MD Christian Lang speaks with infectious passion alongside an authority rooted in his extensive experience in education: “Our aims are clearly focused: to provide disenfranchised and disengaged youngsters, through rugby, with a stable, positive environment, and develop them to fulfil their potential as leaders of their community”.
Even in these early days, they’ve already seen individuals overcome significant challenges to achieve results that are nothing short of inspiring. “With increased support, STAR and MRRF can deliver these outcomes on a significantly larger scale” continues Christian. “Working together, our potential for changing young lives is hugely encouraging”.
Sentiments enthusiastically echoed by his counterpart Sean Morgan: “Our organisations are kindred spirits and natural allies. In partnership we can break the oppressing cycle of inevitability that our disadvantaged young people face. The game’s inherent code of respect, resilience and caring support offers them a unique opportunity to grow and flourish. Together we want to ensure this opportunity is available to every youngster, not just a privileged few”.
The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation
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