Legendary England and Fiji Rugby 7’s Coach Ben Ryan thanks Cirencester College

Ben Ryan, the former England rugby sevens coach, has praised the College for donating sports kit to the children of Fiji.

The equipment, including balls, bibs and shirts, will go to the charity Bula Boots, who support access to rugby for children aged 8-18.

The decision was inspired by Damian Cuke, a member of the College’s Sports Department after reading Ben Ryan’s latest book ‘Sevens Heaven.’

“A huge thank you to Cirencester College for donating to Bula Boots and helping the young players of Fiji get hold of some kit to play the game they love. Every little bit helps,” said Ben Ryan on Twitter.

In his book, Ben Ryan describes how he went from coaching England with a multimillion-pound training budget, to Fiji, where children played with bottles full of dirt instead of a rugby ball.

“I don’t think I realised the scale of deprivation there, especially when you consider the team’s 2016 Olympic success,” said Damian.

Damian explained that he first contacted Ben Ryan on social media to ask how to send excess College kit to Fiji.

“Ben’s very down to earth and it was just nice for him to recognise and support us as a College,” added Damian.

Ben responded, but so too did the College’s rugby team, with player Harrison Woodcock successfully securing further donations.

Harrison’s grandfather, Dave Savage, is the owner of D&J Sports in Cirencester and has since donated 30 brand new playing shirts.

The equipment is now packed and on its way to Fiji’s Serua Province, where it will be used by local clubs and villages.

Inside the packages are photographs of the College team and the message: “It’s a pleasure to be part of the rugby family.”

Damian Cuke: “I’m happy the College is going to make a difference, and that’s what it’s all about. We’re now talking to other clubs about how they can do the same.”

You can learn more about Cirencester College’s Level 2 and 3 courses in Sports Coaching, Sports Science and A-level PE, here: www.cirencester.ac.uk

For more information on this story, please contact Izaac.cole@cirencester.ac.uk