Gulf rugby community unites for charity mission
Conquistadors will donate kit and run rugby clinics in Madagascar
The Gulf rugby community will come together next month as the Mike Ballard Foundation Conquistadors head to the Seychelles and Madagascar as part of a charity mission.
Made up of 24 players from eight different rugby clubs across four Arabian Gulf countries, the group will be holding coaching clinics, playing the Madagascan national side and undertaking some charity work.
“Both Mike and I were injured playing in West Asian Club Championship Finals and the rugby community really supported us so we wanted to do something positive for another rugby community,” said Winston Cowie, player/coach of the Conquistadors.
“We have been kindly sponsored by Air Seychelles and are initially over in the Seychelles to donate 20 wheelchairs to a local hospital. We are then heading to Antananarivo in Madagascar where we will donate 30 wheelchairs to a local charity - the Association Aide Manjanksoa Madagascar.
“It’s a busy schedule as we will then be holding coaching clinics with juniors from 10 different rugby clubs and schools.
“After the coaching clinics, a curtain raiser 7s tournament will be held between the teams, followed by an exhibition rugby match at the Madagascar National Stadium between the Air Seychelles Mike Ballard Foundation Conquistadors and the Madagascan national team - ranked No.41 in the world.”
In preparation for the trip the team are collecting rugby kit to donate to the juniors in Madagascar where 90 per cent of the population live on less than two dollars a day.
“This year is our first go at it and the response from the rugby community has been incredible,” added Cowie.
“Eight clubs are on board and are gathering kit and gear for us to take.”
For details on how to get involved and for more information on the trip visit the Mike Ballard Foundation Facebook page.
24 Players from eight Gulf rugby clubs will take part in the charity mission