Barbarians proud to support the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation with £10,000 grant

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The Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust are proud to announce their support for the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation with a £10,000 grant to support the Foundation’s coaching initiatives both in the UK and in New Zealand.

Set up in memory of Matt Ratana, who was tragically killed on Friday 25 September 2020 while on duty as a Custody Sergeant, the Foundation has been formed by a diverse group of individuals with expertise across sport, business and charity, dedicated to delivering the aims of the Foundation. 

Barbarian F.C. President John Spencer said: "The Barbarians are very proud to be among the supporters of the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation. Matt represented so many of the core values of rugby that are integral to the rugby family around the world and resonate so strongly with our own Barbarians family. He was a true inspiration to so many and remains an inspiration as his legacy takes shape.

"We are looking forward to developing our support of the Foundation in the longer term, working to help provide life-changing opportunities through rugby, making a long-lasting difference and promoting the values of the Rugby community, its diversity, multiculturalism, enjoyment and respect."

Matt’s partner Su Bushby welcomed the contribution to the Foundation, saying: “I’d like to express my great thanks to the Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust for this grant. We had looked forward to the Barbarians being able to honour Matt’s memory in the match against England back in October; so I’m very touched the Trust is contributing to his legacy. 

“The grant from the Barbarians will go a long way to helping realise initiatives inspired by Matt and it is a great honour to have such significant support from a well-loved global rugby club.” 

The Foundation, which launched last month, aims to provide life-changing opportunities to younger people in need and to support communities through the medium of rugby around the world, including exchanges with clubs in New Zealand.

The values of the Foundation have been brought together under five pillars that align closely to the Barbarians’ own. With the Barbarians’ international presence, their Charitable Trust looks forward to celebrating respect for other people and cultures, supporting initiatives in New Zealand as well as the UK. The Barbarians’ core principles of courage, spirit, passion, integrity and friendship are all enshrined in the Foundations’ approach to their work, and the Charitable Trust is honoured to be joining forces with a powerful and passionate team.

Matt Ratana was born in the Hawke’s Bay Region of New Zealand and moved to England in 1989. He worked for the Metropolitan Police for nearly 30 years, in addition to working tirelessly both in New Zealand and in the UK as an inspirational rugby coach for all ages, mentor to young people, leader, friend and teacher. He spoke often to his teams of the importance of ‘Whãnau’, the Maori word for family and community. This sits at the heart of the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation’s initiatives, delivered with the commitment, drive and generosity of spirit Matt inspired.  

Foundation Lead Sean Morgan said: “Delivering schemes like this is so important to ensuring we help remember Matt, but more importantly we hope that we will create programmes that exemplify the ethos of Matt and the values of the Barbarians, both of which are so well aligned and keep them going for years to come.” 

The Barbarians website will have details on the work of the Foundation or you can learn more at https://mattratanarugby.foundation

The Foundation will soon be announcing details of their initiatives, as well as ways in which you can support - watch this space for more information.