Scottish Rugby has extended its links with global charity Save the Children with a unique partnership which establishes Scotland Women and Hillhead-Jordanhill No 8 Jade Konkel and Scotland and Glasgow Warriors fullback Stuart Hogg as the charity’s sporting champions in Scotland.
They will help highlight Save the Children’s work, by visiting Scottish families who benefit from their programmes, community work and taking part in the charity’s Christmas Jumper Day.
Scottish Rugby, whose patron, HRH The Princess Royal, has been President of Save the Children UK since 1970, has already supported Save the Children through bucket collections at matches after natural disasters such as the Nepal earthquake and famine in East Africa.
Konkel, 23 said: “I’m massively proud to be a champion for Save the Children. In rugby, just as in life, we try to remove barriers and give people a fair start in life.
“I was so pleased to be asked to champion Save the Children’s issues. I think that together we can shine a spotlight on their work, help people to understand what life is like for some families in Scotland today and support vital fund-raising. I know this is the start of something special.”
Before setting off with the British and Irish Lions for their New Zealand tour, Hogg, 24, said: “Having become a dad for the second time recently I appreciate just how important giving children the best start in life is – ensuring every child, regardless of their background, can fulfil their potential.
“It’s inspirational to see what Save the Children does – from working with families in schools, to giving household items out to families struggling financially. I’m really up for championing their cause.”
Staff and players from Glasgow Warriors, previously took over the Save the Children’s shop in Byres Road, Glasgow, spending the afternoon raising as much money as possible, auctioning items and manning the tills.
Neil Mathers, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland, said: “We’re so excited to have Stuart and Jade on board, championing our cause and using their status as stars of Scottish Rugby to highlight our important work. Their enthusiasm is so infectious and it will be great to see them getting stuck in once they return from their summer activities. We know that having them speak out for the families and children that we work with will really make a difference.”
Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We believe there should be no barriers to involvement in our sport, which promotes health, wellbeing and enjoyment for all. We welcome this further evolution of our successful partnership with Save the Children and are pleased to work in tandem with such a positive charity whose vision in wider society Scottish Rugby is proud to share.
“We’re delighted that Jade and Stuart are keen to give of their time to become Save the Children champions.”
Save the Children believes all young children should have happy, healthy childhoods and the same chance of succeeding in life, regardless of background. The charity supports young children living in poverty by improving their early learning – narrowing the gap between these children and their better off classmates.