Fund raising is not something I am particularly used to doing personally. If the truth be told, I find it quite difficult asking for money from others, not least because this seems to be a daily activity most of us will encounter already whether in the street, online or on TV. However, this year I have made a commitment to do my best to raise funds for former Welsh International Owen Williams, as has my colleague Gareth who is participating in several sporting events, beginning with the Paris Marathon in just a few weeks’ time.
One of the ways we have hit upon to raise funds is to hold a prize draw for everyone who donates £10 (or multiple thereof). To encourage entries, we needed to get some pretty spectacular prizes together and I think we have just about managed to do that! Thanks to a few of my contacts over my playing and coaching career, I was able to put out a few calls and the response was amazing. Not one person turned down my request when they heard who the money would be for, and this really epitomises the strength of feeling in the rugby community and the support for Owen and the whole #StayStrongForOws campaign.
Thanks to the Welsh players in Paris, and particularly to Luke Charteris, we are able to offer a signed Racing Metro jersey as a prize for one lucky winner. This is a really special piece of memorabilia, and something which is would be almost unique in the UK. This is a really big prize for someone to win and it alone should pique the interest of most rugby fans, and will hopefully encourage many to donate a tenner to such a worthwhile cause to have a chance of winning it.
Separately, through contacts in Wales we have pairs of tickets to regional games, including one derby (Scarlets v Blues) available and one potentially decisive fixture at the Liberty Stadium between Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors in May. I’ve also been provided with a signed Newport Gwent Dragons shirt and Gareth will be getting a signed #StayStrongForOws ball from the Cardiff Blues.
Naturally these prizes are great and hopefully will encourage more donations. Whether you decide to donate to enter the prize draw, or in recognition of Gareth’s exploits, or both, you can rest assured that everybody who joins us in donating to Owen and his family will, I am certain, be winners in their eyes. So please do give all you can, cross your fingers and hopefully you may win a prize. Tell all your friends and family to enter too and let’s work together to generate a good amount to help Owen in his recovery.