One hundred years of rugby for the Greens and Whites of Salisbury RFC saw season-long celebrations to raise £6,700 for the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF), the charity having supported Salisbury-grown injured player, Jack Fishwick.
The club has developed the skills of former international players, including Rugby World Cup winner and current England Team Manager & Pathway Liaison Manager Richard Hill MBE. IPF client, Jack Fishwick who grew up in Salisbury played age grade and Colts level rugby at the club and was part of the Colts team that won the Colts National Cup, beating Worcester at Sixways.
Said Club President Richard Larcombe: “We had just finished raising substantial funds for new changing rooms and decided that any profits from these celebrations would go outside the club, either to the local community or to another worthwhile charity. When Jack Fishwick, who still visits us regularly, was mentioned and people became aware of the support he received from the IPF, there was no further discussion, and members and guests were generous throughout the year.”The total donation of thousands of pounds to the IPF was achieved through a whole club effort. Fundraisers included junior section discos, pre-game luncheons, club fine dining evenings and a 10s and touch rugby tournament. Player Michael Rigby also secured a ballot place in the London Marathon 2023, running for the IPF as part of the centenary celebrations and raising £830.
Rounding off the year was the club’s end of season dinner where rugby royalty were out in force. British Lion and Leicester player Tim Stimpson compered the evening, with Nigel Owens MBE entertaining the diners with tales of his international refereeing career. Samoan international Freddie Tuilagi was also there with his gin bar and Tuilager beer.
Stephen Duckworth, IPF Trustee and beneficiary, joined the club at a pre-match lunch and presented them with a shield to commemorate their fantastic fundraising.
Said Stephen Duckworth: “A club helping the work of our charity is often initiated when they see the support of one of their own and realise how much it matters. My injury was in 1981, when there was no support, and my four boys played for Andover, Salisbury’s arch rivals, which just goes to show how the power of the rugby family supersedes any local rivalry.
“As the RFU's primary charity, we are all committed to ensuring that people experiencing a catastrophic injury can regain their lives and become valuable assets to society. Jack's story clearly illustrates this.”
Jack Says IPF Became Family Friends
Jack Fishwick himself has creat ad rugby 7s and netball tournament at Wimbledon RFC in support of the IPF. He was injure playing second-row for Wimbledon RFC in 2014.
“Within 12 hours the IPF were at my bedside, giving emotional support to my family and girlfriend. In that situation everyone is in melt down and they were our go to people for everything we needed,” says Jack.
Jack, who is now an accomplished sports injury and rehabilitation specialist, was hospitalised for eight months. “The IPF covered everything, from family travel to accommodation so that they could be near me to helping with my transfer to Stoke Mandeville and getting me in touch with the physios and occupational therapists there. Whether it’s sorting the correct chair or vehicle for me, equipment to get back to work, or extra rehabilitation to improve my mobility, the IPF is involved.
“Without them I would have had an NHS budget allowing me an hour’s generic physio a week but thanks to extra rehab with IPF partners Hobbs I received nine hours weekly with two or three neuro specialists working with me at the same time, making a huge difference.
“I had no idea how much the charity did for someone seriously injured playing rugby and the help I have been given is substantial and far outweighs what I might have anticipated. They have become real family friends and remain the ones I can go to for help and advice on everything.”