Here are the RHUL sports teams raising money for BLM causes that you can support
Rugby, tennis, netball and hockey are not keeping quiet
During the lockdown the Black Lives Matter movement has become exponentially prominent, as we all know. At Royal Holloway, even as our campus is essentially empty and no face-to-face classes have recently taken place, there are 5 sports teams that are not being held back by this. Women’s and men’s rugby, tennis, netball and hockey are all contributing to BLM causes by fundraising in different ways.
Women’s rugby continues with the 5K trend in support of Show Racism The Red Card
The women’s rugby team has united during lockdown to tackle racism through their chosen charity which delivers workshops to educate and raise awareness of racial stereotypes and common misconceptions. Their Charity Secretary Lainey Howlett told us ‘by educating people it makes it easier to combat racism’, putting the team’s focus on education for future generations. Their President Gemma is keen to learn about the BLM phenomenon as she mentions ‘this is to understand the movement at its core, whilst still learning about how racism still exists’.
The 5K became increasingly popular at the beginning of lockdown for the NHS and this team has adapted it into the BLM movement. So many people joined the initiative and Lainey mentioned how ‘it gathered a lot of attention’ to run and, consequently, donate thanks to our social media presence.
This team is no stranger to charity; having previously organised charity fundraiser matches and held pub quizzes throughout the year. A plan to do the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire has been cancelled due to lockdown but Lainey says ‘we’re hopefully going to be rearranging this’. She also commented on how their deep involvement in charity initiatives ‘reflects how we support each other in other aspects of day to day life, on and off the pitch’.
Tennis highlights the importance of 2020 for AccessUK
Their Charity Secretary, Hanna Carroll ‘was prompted in part by the global response to the police brutality in the United States, which led us to decide to address the issues of inequality within the UK itself’ as she told The Tab Royal Holloway.
This is why their chosen charity is Access UK which aims to reduce youth unemployment and crime. Their objective is to- over ten days- run, cycle and/ or walk 20.2 miles each to, as Hanna put it; ‘give that number a positive connotation’. They are hoping to fundraise 250 pounds. They have focused in the UK because a change in the world or society starts within your community. As for the effect this fundraiser will have on the team, Hanna let us know that it gives them ‘something positive to strive for and achieve off the court’. Taking a public stand for the BLM movement also brings them together as team members which will for sure be something that endures.
The tennis team has had limited participation in fundraising initiatives previously as they are a relatively small team. However, this year they can proudly announce this is no longer the case.
The netball team is selling their clothes on Depop for The Bail Project and Show Racism the Red Card
The netball team’s Charity Secretary, Alice Watters, told The Tab Royal Holloway: ‘I firmly believe that everyone should be given an equal chance in life’ which is why they chose those two specific charities which aim to promote anti-racism, especially within the American penal system. When asked about the uncommon decision to donate through Depop (an app which enables anyone to buy and sell clothes from anyone), she ‘thought selling clothes was a fantastic way for everyone to get involved’.
Their President, Mattie Redmond, told us ‘throughout the rest of the year I will make sure we continue our work and fundraisers’ which we are all looking forward to. She is always looking to get ‘as many girls involved as possible’ to have the biggest impact around campus and to complete their fundraisers.
The netball team in Royal Holloway has always been heavily involved in fundraisers as charity is a central part of their team spirit. They managed to raise over 400 pounds for Cancer Research last year through a charity netball tournament. Alice Watters also told us that ‘this helps bring us closer together’.
Men’s rugby raising money for Supporting Equals whilst running 4009 miles
The team is showing their support for the charity which is one that encourages ethnic diversity in physical activity. Their Charity Secretary, Tarrant Tonks, told us that ‘there is lots of encouragement going around’ since the distance they are running is motivating and challenging.
The reason why they chose 4009 miles until October 1st to run is that that is the distance between Royal Holloway and Minneapolis; where George Floyd was murdered. He told The Tab Royal Holloway that ‘very few of us are everyday runners and it takes a huge level of commitment, time and energy’ which is admirable.
The men’s rugby team usually carries out a November campaign every year as well as participate in the Egham 10K. This last initiative was outstanding- they raised over 5,000 pounds for Building 100 Schools Project. Tarrant considers this type of charity initiative to be, as he told us, ‘a constant source of encouragement’ for him as well as the rest of the rugby team.
Hockey states ‘the UK is NOT innocent’ as they fundraise for Show Racism the Red Card and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
The hockey team is running 846 miles per team (they have 6 different teams) over a month. This is for the 8 minutes and 46 seconds Derek Chauvin was kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Their Charity Secretary Caitlin Usher told The Tab Royal Holloway that being a generally ‘white group, we recognise that it is so important that we use our voices to amplify those that need to be heard’, such as back creators and black-owned businesses. This sports team is raising awareness within the Royal Holloway community as well as the UK as they have stated on their official Instagram page; ’this issue is NOT a new one’ and ‘the UK is NOT innocent’.
This challenge means that ‘by the end of the month we are aiming to have travelled over 5000 miles’, Caitlin told us, which will motivate others to donate. The hockey team at Royal Holloway has previously raised over 2000 pounds for charities like Stonewall or Young Minds.
Even though there are many benefits Caitlin told us about such as ‘keeping our fitness levels up’ and motivating each other, they all agree as a club that ‘the main focus is raising as much money and awareness as we can’.