Rugby Football Union (RFU) President His Honour Jeff Blackett and his wife Sally will walk 150 miles during a 15 day nationwide tour this autumn to raise money for the Injured Players Foundation (IPF) as part of the RFU’s official 150th Anniversary celebrations.
The IPF – the RFU’s primary charity provides support to any rugby player who sustains a spinal chord or brain injury while training or playing the game and in addition funds vital injury prevention research to keep everyone safer on the field.
The RFU 150 Walk event will reflect Jeff’s own rugby journey starting on 22 October at his club United Services Portsmouth RFC in Hampshire and finishing at the Home of England Rugby, Twickenham Stadium, on 5 November - the eve of the first match of the Autumn Nations Series. The Blacketts’ route will include 18 geographic Constituent Bodies (CBs) across the length and breadth of England as detailed below.
Meanwhile, Immediate Past President Peter Wheeler, Vice Presidents Nigel Gillingham and Rob Briers supported by their wives Margaret, Chris and Anne-Marie, will endeavour to visit the remaining 12 geographic CBs.
The whole event also provides the opportunity for the RFU to thank volunteers, in person on their home turf, for their hard work as clubs get back to full contact XV-a-side rugby post-pandemic. Throughout their journey Jeff and Sally will visit many rugby clubs and stop to watch adult training and local games as well as age grade sessions. Club representatives will be joining them on their walk, in support and to share local stories from across the game. Many clubs are also arranging their own RFU 150 Walk fundraising events for the benefit of the IPF.
The Yorkshire leg will include a formal black-tie dinner celebrating Yorkshire RFU’s own 150th anniversary and there will be many other such events across the 15 days.
Speaking about the walk HH Jeff Blackett said:
“While a global pandemic is not how we wanted to mark our 150th anniversary, it has given us the opportunity to not only look back at the history but also look to the future of rugby. It has shown the remarkable work our volunteers have done to keep their clubs and communities going. I am visiting as many clubs and CBs as possible to thank them – while taking the opportunity to raise much needed funds for the Injured Players Foundation.”
Please support Jeff, Sally and the IPF in whatever way you can via this link:
Anyone taking part alongside Jeff and Sally can either make it a sponsorship challenge or make a donation.
Friday 22 October 2021 Hampshire & Royal Navy Rugby Union (RNRU)
Saturday 23 October 2021 Sussex
Sunday 24 October 2021 Kent
Monday 25 October 2021 Hertfordshire
Tuesday 26 October 2021 Eastern Counties & Cambridge University
Wednesday 27 October 2021 East Midlands
Thursday 28 October 2021 Warwickshire
Friday 29 October 2021 Staffordshire
Saturday 30 October 2021 Yorkshire
Sunday 31 October 2021 Lancashire
Monday 1 November 2021 Cheshire
Tuesday 2 November 2021 Gloucestershire
Wednesday 3 November 2021 Devon & Cornwall
Thursday 4 November 2021 Oxfordshire & Oxford University
Friday 5 November 2021 Middlesex