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WLCF small grant awarded to Restart Rugby

1st May 2017

  • Wasps Legends donate £2,500 to Restart Rugby.
  • Donation will support Paul van-Zandvliet and his family.

Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation, the past players network of Wasps, men and women, amateur and professional announced today that they have issued a small grant award of £2,500 to Restart Rugby.

Restart Rugby is the official charity of the Rugby Players’ Association, supporting current and former professional players suffering from serious injury, illness or hardship. The charity provides financial support for players forced to retire and unable to work due to serious illness or career changing injury, helping with medical costs, rehabilitation and home improvement for disabled access, while supporting playersthrough the transition out of rugby into retirement, providing career path opportunities and helping playersretrain or attain qualifications. Restart Rugby alsoprovides emotional support for players and their families struggling with depression and mental health issues through our confidential counselling service.

The £2,500 donation will fund the final renovation work to the home of Paul Van-Zandvliet, who is struggling with the financial, physical and practical effects of terminal illness. In 2016, former Newcastle Falcons player, Paul was diagnosed with three types of cancer – an inoperable brain tumour as well as cancer of the liver and kidneys. Since his diagnosis, Paul has undergone a gruelling course of chemotherapy and most recently a very risky operation on his brain to try and relieve pressure, which has caused a paralysis of his right side.

Susie Baxter of Restart Rugby said of the donation: "We can’t thank Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation enough for this donation. It will make such a big difference to Paul and his family at a time of huge financial stress and will help them concentrate on their grief and loss in the knowledge that this pressure will be relieved whilst Paul is alive and also for the family once he is gone. It will give Paul peace of mind, knowing that he won’t be leaving his wife, Helen and their children with this added stress.”

Genevieve Glover, Chair of Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation said of the announcement: "We are very pleased to be supporting Restart Rugby and Paul at this difficult time. It shows the power of the rugby family that we look after each other, regardless of the shirt we played in. We hope that this donation goes a long way towards relieving the stress that Paul and his family are going through at this difficult time. From the entire Wasps Legends family, our thoughts are with Paul, Helen and their children.”

The whole of the Wasps legends squad epitomised everything rugby stands for - community spirit, great banter, competition on the pitch and the making of some lasting friendships.