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Amazing grassroots support for the “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation”

Rugby is not just about the top clubs and international games. Your clubs, up and down the country, are doing great things and playing great games and we want to hear about them. Check out this story from Blaydon RFC and their support of a fantastic charity through an U13’s match with Melrose RFC.

A few seasons ago the then Blaydon RFC U10’s, based just outside of Newcastle, raised £1700 for Solving Kids Cancer UK a venture which sowed the seeds for the importance of fundraising and helping others.  This season the team, now U13’s, have been inspired by the story of the legendary former Scotland and Lions international star player Doddie Weir and chose to support his charity by playing a fixture against Melrose RFC.

Doddie was diagnosed last year with an illness called Motor Neurone Disease which currently has no cure, so he decided to put all his energy into a charity that he and some friends started up called the “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.”   The ‘5’ is not a mistake but refers to his favourite shirt number from his playing days.

When Doddie first played rugby, it was for his local club Melrose RFC in the Scottish Borders and when the sport went professional, he played for Newcastle Falcons and it was this geographical link that provided the connection between the two clubs.

On the day of the match, 45 eager and skilful young players representing Melrose Wasps and Blaydon Lions got involved in a fantastic game of rugby played on what is arguably one of the most scenic pitches in the country under some glorious autumnal Scottish sunshine.  The game was played in the true spirit of the sport with some beautiful running rugby on display and tries aplenty with Blaydon RFC emerging as victors and claiming the inaugural “Doddie Weir Trophy” that had been donated by the Blaydon team as an annual award to encourage that this fundraising fixture continues for many years to come.

Post-match in true traditional style the young players enjoyed each other’s company and after all being presented with a participation medal and acknowledging each other’s performances got down to raising funds for Doddie’s Foundation by way of a raffle.

The day was great fun all round and both teams made new friends along the way with the talk already turning to plans for the return fixture at Blaydon RFC next season for some more entertaining rugby and to continue raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.

Find out more at www.myname5doddie.co.uk

(Our thanks to Andy Lane at Blaydon RFC for this story and also his great work in sorting the charity game out!)

 

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Anthony Mullally. Plant powered.

Anthony Mullally is an Ireland rugby league international and Leeds Rhinos forward. At 6ft 5ins he is known as the Vegan Warrior because he doesn’t eat any meat or animal products, and is one of the strongest and fittest players in the country. He actively works with Veganuary, an event that promotes a month of a vegan diet each January, and has recently opened a vegan restaurant called Vital Café near his club’s grounds in Leeds.

Anthony was a vegetarian for two and a half years before going vegan two years ago. “I watched some talks and documentaries on YouTube which changed my perception of things.” he said. “Obviously because of the nature of the sport, I didn’t want to do anything drastic that would affect my performance, but I know now that was never going to be the case. “Initially for health reasons I gave up red meat, chicken, then fish. But then I looked into the dairy industry and decided to go vegan for ethical reasons.”

Though he says he didn’t miss eating meat, he sometimes found it hard when he and the rugby lads went out for food after training. “We’re quite social, so that was difficult to go places where there weren’t vegetarian options.  I used to get some stick off the lads for not eating meat. Other players from the club were initially shocked when it first happened, but then people had questions and wanted to know why.”

Anthony had to research the right things to eat to maintain his weight. “You definitely don’t need meat to gain muscle and perform at your best at the highest levels of sport,” he says. “But it’s more than just eating veggie burgers or white bread and rice. It’s important to have a balanced and varied range of greens, wholegrains, beans, and legumes,” he says. “As long as you get the right amount of calories you’re going to perform as well you could anyway. At the time I didn’t realise that but now I know that’s the case.”

He says that he feels better since going vegan. “I’m as strong as I’ve ever been. I was the strongest in the team so there’s definitely been no decline in strength or physical performance. I’m still competing with the real big guys. “I also noticed that I wouldn’t be as sore after weight sessions. I feel really good.”

Leeds Rhinos have been very supportive of Anthony’s vegan diet. “As a club, they really look after me,” says Anthony. “They provide vegan food at the club, and when we’re out they always ask the chef to make a vegan option for me. Even on away tours, they’ll do the same with the hotel. They’re very accommodating.”

He suggests that vegan and vegetarian players should discuss their needs with their own club.

“Everyone deserves to be treated equally based on their beliefs. At your own rugby clubs it’s good to speak to whoever’s in charge of the kitchen to see if they could provide at least one option. Everyone needs to eat after a game, and a pack of veggie sausages doesn’t cost a lot! 

Q&A

Birthday: 25th June 1991

Position: Prop

Height: 6’5

Weight: 112 kilos

Pre-match rituals: No rituals really. Just try to keep in the moment and not dwell too much on what might happen or what has happened.

Advice to youngsters? Enjoy rugby. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you want to make it as a rugby player you have to put in the hard work, dedication and discipline.

Find out more about Anthony Mullally on:

Instagram @mullally91

Twitter @mullally_

Interview by Nima Suchak

 

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We offer multiple courses throughout the season to keep kids entertained in holidays whilst also progressing their rugby skills! Learn from 1st team players who come down to coach and pass on their top tips.

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