Bro. Jason Ashley will be turning 50 years old in March 2018 and will be retiring from Rugby. To mark both occasions, the challenge is for him to play 12 rugby games for 12 different clubs in 12 weeks.
This kicked off on 6th January finishes on 24th March 2018.
In return for allowing him to play, the 12 club rugby challenge will be donating £300-£500 per game to whatever children's charity the club specifies. The idea is that if a club specifies the charity then the donation will be placed accordingly in the name of the club. If not then the donation will be paid over to Zoe’s Place in the name of Lodge of Unity.
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The Challange - Game by Game
Week 1 of 12: Alcester RFC vs Camp Hill - Saturday 6th Jan 2018
Game 1 of 12 was Ashley playing for Alcester RFC against the very big boys from Camp Hill. Due to a long term ankle injury (Ashley broke his ankle in the 1st game of the season) he was helped out by wing man Sam Reynolds who did cover some game time for him.
Ashley said “It was a great game and Camp Hill eventually came out as winners, mainly due to the size of their big runners.”
The 12 club rugby challenge was represented on the pitch for the entire game with Ashley starting in the Back Row, then replaced by Sam and he then finished the game in the Front Row when their Prop went off with a back injury. After the game and a few beers a small presentation was made with Alcester RFC committing their donation of £300.00 to Zoe’s Place.
Week 2 of 12: Wolverhampton 3rd Team vs Dudley Kingswinford 3rd Team.
Wolverhampton RFC got fully behind the 12 Club Rugby Challenge as they were the host Club for Week 2 of 12.
Week 3 of 12: Saw the 12 Club Rugby Challenge register its 1st win playing for AEI (Rugby) RFC against Manor Park.
Week 4 saw the 12 Club Rugby Challenge rock up at Claverdon RFC for a fixture against Five Ways Old Ed’s RFC.
Game 5 of 12 saw The 12 Club Rugby Challenge pick up our 3rd win in a row when we played for Birmingham Exiles RFC on a very cold Friday evening.
A good time was had by all and some good Rugby was played. Some bad rugby was also played as mostly fat old rugby players but the stories in the bar are always better with fast old rugby players.
The 12 Club Rugby Challenge will now donate £300.00 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Week 6 of 12: 6 down 6 to go.
The 12 Club Rugby Challenge hit the Half Way point when we played Game 6 for Southam RFC vs Newbold in very wet conditions. After 6 weeks we have played Rugby for 6 different Local Clubs and paid out £1700.00 to 4 different Children’s Charities inc:-
Zoë’s Place Coventry (£800.00)
The Wooden Spoon Society (£300.00)
Meningitis Now (£300.00)
Birmingham Children’s Hospital (£300.00).
By the end of the 12 Weeks we hope to have paid out over £4000.00.
The response we have had from the 12 Host Clubs has just been incredible. Every club we have turned too has really embraced the challenge and been very welcoming, very generous. All games have been played in good spirit and each club has presented me with a Club Tie after each game as a memento of the event.
It has been very tough going on the Body and Mind with several injuries occurring after 6 games with 6 still to play. So far I have had one black eye, one suspected broken thumb, swollen ankle plus various bumps and bruises. My Rugby week is now divided into 3 parts, Rest and Recuperation from Saturdays game, Treatment to repair various injuries and then Physio in readiness for the next game. What makes it worth while is the reaction that this challenge is getting from everyone it touches.
Thanks to Old Coventrians RFC for hosting the game and for the additional funds donated by players in a collection after the game - your generosity was much appreciated.
Thanks to Olly Scott who made his debut as wingman. Finally - lock up your daughters, Minehead - the 12 Club Rugby Challenge is coming to town for week 8
Thank you to week 8 host club Minehead Barbarians for Saturday’s game against Old Leamingtonians. The match was enjoyed by all and the 12 Club Rugby Challenge was pleased to make a £500 donation to C.L.O.W.N.S (Creating Learning Opportunities In WesterN Somerset) in Minehead Barbarians RFC’s name.
Due to losing last week’s fixture because of snow, the 12 Club Rugby Challenge entered it’s 10th week, playing for the 9th club, Bromsgrove Rugby Football Club against Claverdon RFC.
Game 10 and 11
The 12 Club Rugby Challenge Double Header took place on Saturday 17th March, with Jason playing for both teams- Old Leamingtonians in the first half and Copsewood RFC in the second half, and somehow managing to play into the freezing Beast from the East wind for the whole 80 minutes. A very close game, played in the snow, which saw OL’s narrowly win 45-43. A donation will now be made to The Friendship Project for Children.
We have now caught up the 11 games for 11 clubs after 11 weeks, with game 12 - THE FINAL GAME - coming up, with Jason (maybe) hanging up his boots after he plays for the Tired Old Tigers RFC.
The day has arrived, the final game of the challenge, the final trip to physio for ankle strapping, the final desperate shout of “Sally? Where’s my rugby kit?” and the final time of being the last one out of the changing room due to all the hair combing. Jason’s last game before retirement.
Game 12 - Tired Old Tigers RFC v Old Leamingtonians RFC
The last game saw a further donation of £500.00 to Zoes Place.