Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award 2018.

Date: 30 Oct 2018

Wasps have landed a prestigious award from the Ministry of Defence for supporting the British Armed Forces.

The Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award, recognises employers’ efforts to support defence personnel such as providing opportunities for them whilst living back at home.

The award forms part of the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise from the nation to all current and ex-serving personnel that they will be treated fairly and are not disadvantaged.

Wasps signed their own Armed Forces Covenant with the British Armed Forces in April 2017, which will see the Armed Forces holding one military-themed match day per season at the Ricoh Arena.

The club’s community team have also been supporting a group of serving Armed Forces personnel over the past 18 months, which is currently made up of ten coaches and includes regimental sergeant majors and lieutenant colonels.

While away from the front line, each serving member is volunteering as a community coach for Wasps across the Midlands delivering their Project Rugby programme – which is introducing hundreds of young people aged 14 to 20 to rugby for the first time.

The partnership is driven by Wasps community development officer Andy Smith, who is an ex-soldier himself who served for the British Armed Forces between 1989 and 1993, which included a stint as a peace keeper between the Greek and Turkish armies in 1991.

“It’s really important that opportunities are given to serving personnel so they can think about alternative careers if and when they decide to transition back into civilian life full-time,” said Andy, who is also the club’s army liaison officer.

 “Wasps’ decision to welcome serving personnel into their community team not only enables them to integrate into civilian life while they are back at home, but it enables them to talk to other young people about what the Armed Forces is like, what roles there are, and share key life values such as team work, respect and discipline.

“This well-deserved recognition of what the club is doing for Armed Forces is just the start.

 “We have developed strong working relationships with the Gamecock Barracks at Bramcote and the Army Recruitment Centre in Birmingham to ensure we can help as many serving Armed Forces personnel as possible, and expect our involvement with the Armed Forces to evolve in the future.”

Wasps will be dedicating two of their home matches this season to a military theme. The Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Bristol Bears on Sunday, November 11 (kick-off 3pm) will have a Remembrance Day theme, while the Gallagher Premiership match against Worcester Warriors on Saturday, April 6 will be dedicated to the British Armed Forces.