I’ve been blown away by the support that we’ve seen for The Big Rugby Run campaign across the rugby community, clubs & schools, ex-players and Rugby Players Ireland, colleagues in the provincial setups, even the referees & rugby media! In the space of a few short days, we’ve surged to nearly twice our original fundraising target for Feed The Heroes and have teams signed up to run over 700kms. And we’re only starting!
However, it was really important for me in recruiting for my own #TheBigRugbyRun team, that I bring a group on board that reminded all the rest of us of why we’re really coming together for this cause. These five special people (Billy Holland, Tom Gleeson, Linda Djougang and Claire McLoughlin) are rugby people from all corners of Ireland, from all different backgrounds, who have already done some amazing things off the rugby pitch, where they have each played at such a high level. Billy has experienced the frontline in a very personal way and knows how our healthcare staff invariably go above and beyond the call of duty to help their patients and families. Tom, Linda & Claire are part of the heroes group that we all talk about each and every day, that we’ve clapped for, that we’ve worried for, that Feed The Heroes are supporting daily across the four proud provinces. They are doing more amazing things now than they could ever do with a rugby ball and they, plus all the other healthcare and frontline workers associated with rugby clubs & groups across the country, are our inspiration for #TheBigRugbyRun on Saturday 9 May. I’d like to thank them deeply for agreeing to take part in this challenge. I’ll be incredibly proud and humbled to be able to pass or receive the virtual baton/rugby ball from any of them on the day. What a wonderful way to show that sport, and particularly for us, rugby, can do great things to bring us together, even when we’re apart.
Yours in Rugby
More information on ‘Johne’s Jolly Joggers’ #TheBigRugbyRun team;
- Billy Holland – Munster & Irish Second Row, Billy, with his wife Lanlih, has done amazing charity work in recent months, raising over €550,000 for their own ‘Brave Like Emmeline Holland’ fundraiser https://www.the42.ie/billy-holland-lanlih-new-baby-matthew-5049070-Mar2020/
- Tom Gleeson – Former Munster Centre, Tom followed his family tradition in medicine after retiring and is currently part of the fight against Covid-19 as a doctor in Cork’s Mercy University Hospital https://www.the42.ie/tom-gleeson-munster-doctor-5070984-Apr2020/
- Linda Djougang – Leinster & Ireland Woman’s Prop, Linda is a working as a student nurse in Tallaght Hospital during the current crisis https://www.irishrugby.ie/2020/03/28/from-the-front-row-to-the-frontline-djougang-answers-irelands-call/
- Claire McLoughlin – Ulster & Ireland Woman’s Back Rower, Claire is a junior doctor at the Ulster Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/52137849
To find out more regarding #TheBigRugbyRun taking place on Sat 9 May, in support of Feed The Heroes, please visit www.thebigrugbyrun.com, where you can download the information pack & promotional poster for passing around to your team and club contacts.