A RUGBY player is preparing to hang up his boots – but not before helping children in need throughout Warwickshire.
Old Leamingtonians player Jason Ashley will be making a guest appearance in 12 rugby teams across the county over 12 weeks to raise money for a children’s charity of each club’s choice.
Through his ’12 Club Rugby Challenge’, the 49-year-old from Warwick, aims to raise between £300 and £500 for each club’s chosen charity.
Jason kicked-off his challenge playing for Alcester against Camp Hill on Saturday (January 13), raising £300 for charity Zoe’s Place. The baby hospice has proved a popular choice among players and Jason hopes to raise a total of £1,000 for the Coventry charity.
The dad-of-one said: “Rugby is such a great game for kids to be involved with and we were keen for children’s charities to benefit.
“The response from all the teams has been the most impressive part of the whole challenge so far and it has felt very humbling indeed.
“Every club that we have approached has jumped right on board and supported us in every way.”
Jason – who is a managing director for Pluvius Ltd which supplies kit and equipment to sports clubs – added he hoped the challenge would create a long-time link between rugby clubs and local charities.
After three decades playing the sport, Jason will pull on his boots for the final time shortly before his 50th birthday in March.
The prop forward will play his last game alongside the aptly named ‘Tired Old Tigers’ – which is an invitational team – against Old Leamingtonians.
He added: “I am hoping to make up the 24 man squad by inviting players from the 12 host clubs that have supported the 12 Club Rugby Challenge along with various others who I have enjoyed playing rugby with over the years.
“I will miss playing rugby but I know it’s the right time for me to retire.”