Wasps are proving that charity begins at home as they gear up to mark the club’s 150th anniversary.
Dai Young’s men begin the Aviva Premiership season at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, 2 September against Sale Sharks, marking the start of a season of celebration.
The club has announced it is aiming to raise up to £150,000 for three official charity partners throughout the season, each of which will be given dedicated match days to fundraise.
The charities include Dallaglio RugbyWorks – a programme set up by Lawrence Dallaglio to help disadvantaged 14 to 17-year-olds achieve sustained education, employment or training; Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in Coventry, which provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care to infants; and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity for veterans and their families.
A two day, 150-mile bike ride between Twickenham and the Ricoh Arena is taking place to mark the club’s anniversary and raise funds for Dallaglio RugbyWorks, and will finish at the 150th Anniversary fixture between Wasps and Bath at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, 1 October, where a variety of Wasps legends will be presented to the crowd.
Throughout the season fans are also being given the chance to get their hands on a 150th anniversary book brimming with 240 pages of previously unseen information, photography and memorabilia.
The first team squad will also be sporting a unique 150th anniversary shirt throughout the season, paying homage to the club’s heritage.
Nick Eastwood, Wasps CEO, said: “This is set to be a season unlike any other off the pitch, and a lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes over the past few months to make sure we celebrate the club’s past while also looking ahead to an exciting future.
“This season marks 150 years since Wasps was originally formed in the Eton and Middlesex Tavern pub in the Autumn of 1867, and since then, the club has evolved into first-class rugby club and powerful community asset.
“The club has laid down permanent roots for a brighter future in Coventry and the wider Midlands through its community work, which is why we wanted to make fundraising a core part of our 150th year celebrations.
“We have some 150-related surprises up our sleeves for supporters as the season progresses, so we’d urge people to watch this space.”
Mick McCann is fundraising manager for Zoe’s Place Hospice in Ash Green, Coventry and has welcomed Wasps fundraising challenge.
He added: “We are a charity that relies solely on donations from the public to keep us going, so to receive this kind of support from Wasps in what is a big year for them is invaluable for us.
“Seeing big clubs and organisations such as Wasps helping local causes is what community is all about, and we can’t wait to attend the Gloucester game on 23 December to raise awareness of what we do.”
Tickets for Wasps v Sale Sharks can be purchased from wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £21 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain categories.
The Wasps 150th anniversary shirt will be revealed on Tuesday 22nd August and go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 23rd August at the Club shop or online.
The shirt can also be pre-ordered by visiting www.waspsshop.co.uk and the 150th anniversary book can be pre-ordered by visiting www.wasps150book.co.uk