A recently formed rugby team for under 13-year-olds in Jarrow has received a £1,000 donation from Team Valley-based copy, print and scan management company, SOS Group.
As well a paying for a new team kit, the money will go towards the team taking part in The Tropical 7s rugby tournament in the USA this April.
The Jarrovian Jaguars was launched by Justin Perry two years ago to provide a physical outlet and new experiences for young people in the area.
Beginning with just a handful of players, the team is now 16 strong and growing and plays home games at Jarrow Community Centre in Hebburn.
Justin, the coach and Jarrovians’ President, says that the club brings much more than rugby into the lives of the young players.
Justin explains: “We launched the team because there wasn’t an established junior rugby section in this community and that needed to change.
“This is an area where many kids have to travel a difficult path. Family lives are not always straightforward and money can be an issue.
“We wanted to open up their eyes to something new and positive. And to get them involved with a team and make new friends.
“I know that training and playing together has really helped some of the kids. We’ve had parents and teachers commenting on the positive changes in them and their performance at school. We’re very proud of them all.”
After one of the Jarrovian’s coaches moved to the USA on a work placement, an opportunity arose for the team to play against other junior rugby clubs at a special sevens tournament in Orlando in Florida.
It will be a life-changing experience for the children, many of whom have not even been on holiday before.
Justin adds: “We’ve been fundraising for our trip to Florida for a year now with supermarket bag packs and special events but it’s hard going.
“SOS Group are the first business who have stepped up to help and we’re absolutely thrilled that they have. Some of the parents have been quite taken aback by the gesture.”
Launched in 2002, SOS Group’s services include document management, scanning, cost consultation, managed print services and supplying and maintaining leading brand digital office equipment.
The firm also recently launched its DDB Workspace Solutions Division to supply a range of furniture that helps tackle common issues including posture and lack of space. It features technology that can provide individual heating options, improving workplace comfort and reducing energy costs.
George Young, director at SOS Group, says: “Being part of a team can be a hugely positive experience and going on a tour together really creates a special bond.
“We’re very proud to help support these young players and wish them all the very best with the rest of this season and for their trip to Florida.”