Newforge Taggers Tag Rugby Club, based in South Belfast, is celebrating after receiving funding from the Energy for Children Charity to purchase a new club marquee for the pitch and additional tag rugby equipment.
Newforge Taggers is a tag ruby club for people with learning disabilities, with many players aged fifteen and under. Established in 2006, the club promotes healthy recreation for its players and was the first tag rugby club of its type in Northern Ireland.
Recognising a need for a communal area pitch-side to meet the needs of its disabled players, the club decided to apply for funding to local charity, Energy for Children.
Club Secretary, Tim Craig, explains, “Newforge Taggers has around 55 players, many with learning disabilities who have additional needs. I had heard about Energy for Children and applied for funding earlier this year. I was delighted to hear that our application was successful and we took delivery of the new marquee and tag rugby equipment over the summer and in time for the new season.
“The marquee will provide a base for the Taggers at festivals. It provides a focal point and place of safety for our players should they become disorientated. It will provide shelter for a large section of our players should the weather be inclement and also a place to store equipment and property during festivals.
“As the club grows and we participate in competitions further afield, the marquee is a great piece of equipment for us to help store and protect equipment, as well as sheltering the players. The additional new equipment, including bibs, rugby balls and tags has been great for us as our old kit had become very worn out. We can’t thank Energy for Children enough for their support and for giving the team a new lease of life!”
Charity Trustee member, Jonathan Martindale, said, “I’m delighted to see how much of a difference this equipment has made to Newforge Taggers. It’s great to see the younger members of this club, and those with learning disabilities, really flourishing in the game, which not only promotes healthy exercise, but it has done wonders for building player’s confidence and social skills.
This equipment has already made a huge difference to the team and it’s great to see it being used for both home and away games as the club continues to go from strength to strength. This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help local children who are most in need and I’m thrilled to see the positive impact it is having on the club”, added Jonathan.
Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Natural Gas and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.
Founded on the principle that ‘all monies raised go directly to local children and young people’, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives.
Since its formation, the trust has helped over 9,000 local children and every month continues to help those who need it most.
For more information on the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, visit www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility