Press Release | 09 Mar 2022

Rugby legends help raise over £6,000 for Bannockburn RFC as part of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy event

Rugby legends help raise over £6,000 for Bannockburn RFC as part of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy event

The latest stop on the Vodafone Lions Legacy Tour has helped raise vital funds for local rugby, while highlighting the role that the sport can play in helping veterans transition back into civilian life.

  • Vodafone Lions Legacy Tour sees rugby legends help to raise over £6,000 for Bannockburn RFC.
  • Former British & Irish Lion Tommy Seymour and former Scotland Women’s captain Lisa Martin visited the club alongside The Good, The Bad & The Rugby’s James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne.
  • The event celebrated Scottish veterans and the role rugby can play in their transition out of the forces, with Haskell, Tindall and Payne taking part in a number of military challenges, from assault courses to bagpiping.
  • As part of the Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour programme, Bannockburn RFC has received a MacBook, a new PA system and a video analysis tool.

Former British & Irish Lion Tommy Seymour and former Scottish Women’s captain and current Saracens centre, Lisa Martin, joined a day of festivities at Bannockburn RFC, in support of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour.

The Scotland legends were joined by The Good, The Bad & The Rugby’s James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne and over 500 people from the local community for a day of pitchside fun and festivities, helping to raise £6,000 for the Stirling club. The donations, combined with new technology and digital learning opportunities provided by Vodafone, will help to secure the club’s financial stability following a difficult period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bannockburn roadshow had a particular focus on veterans, celebrating the role rugby can have in helping them transition back into civilian life. Bannockburn’s Director of Rugby, Jimmy Samuel, is a veteran of nine overseas tours, including Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, and is vocal about the positive impact community rugby has had on him since leaving the forces.

Mike Tindall played a full half for Bannockburn’s men’s team as they battled out a valiant defeat against the Scottish Army RFC, whilst their women’s team, the Valkryies, beat Clydebank Ladies 14-7. Tindall, Haskell and Payne also took on a number of military-themed challenges, including bagpiping, an assault course, and a quick kit change, with Payne named the victor by Samuel.

Vodafone Consumer Director, Max Taylor, said: “The enthusiasm and passion for the club has been evident this weekend. We’re thrilled that the skills and support offered by Vodafone can help Bannockburn grow and thrive in the future.”

Ian McEwan, Bannockburn RFC President, said: “It’s been an honour to host the latest stage of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour. The funds raised will have a huge impact on the club and the equipment which will go a long way to supporting our recovery after a tricky period through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The digital workshop sessions have allowed us to develop a number of important digital skills, and we’re looking forward to putting these into practice to raise awareness around the club, increase our supporter base and our attendance; and ultimately secure our long-term sustainability.”

The day finished with a live recording of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, with Tommy Seymour and Lisa Martin. Discussion centred on the shared values between rugby and the military, and the importance of clubs like Bannockburn in supporting the community and benefitting both physical and mental health.

To further support grassroots rugby, Vodafone is developing a bespoke business resource for all community clubs across the UK and Ireland. The toolkit will be available via V-Hub, Vodafone’s platform for helping small businesses develop their digital capabilities as they get back on their feet following the Covid-19 pandemic. Launching in Spring 2022, it will offer essential tips and guidance to help clubs develop new skills and expertise within digital marketing, content strategies and social media amplification.

The final stop on Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour will be at Aberdare RFC on Saturday 23 March. For more information visit Aberdare RFC’s social media channels.

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About Vodafone & Rugby

Vodafone was Lead Partner of the British & Irish Lions for the 2021 Tour of South Africa. United by a shared passion for connecting people – both to each other and the things they love – Vodafone and the Lions worked together to make 2021 the most connected Tour in history.

Working with Lions legends past and present, Vodafone used the latest connective technology to bring fans closer to the Tour than ever before. This included the creation of the Vodafone Digital Lions, allowing fans to ‘become a Lion’ digitally and interact with their favourite players and events, as well as the world’s first 5G autograph, using Vodafone’s super low-latency 5G network to reward Lions superfans in the UK with an autograph from their idols in South Africa, from 8,000 miles away.

The partnership builds on Vodafone’s heritage of bringing technological advances to the rugby fan experience. In May 2019, Vodafone UK announced a two-year partnership with Wasps rugby and Wasps Netball to bring to life the benefits of 5G technology. Two months later, Vodafone worked with Wasps to create the world’s first 5G haptic rugby tackle. Using a haptic Teslasuit and the Vodafone 5G network, Wasps Rugby player Juan de Jongh was able to feel the impact of a tackle made 100 miles away by team mate Will Rowlands.

In October 2019, Vodafone trialled tech during the Wasps vs London Irish match which provided new camera angles and close-ups to get fans involved with the on-pitch play and give them “5Gamechanger seats” – the best seats in the house. Video from 360° cameras placed around the pitch – including in the players’ tunnel, dug-out and south stand – was streamed over 5G to give fans a real-time perspective on the game, getting them closer to the action than ever before.

In September 2019, Vodafone Ireland signed an extension agreement to be principal sponsor of the Irish Rugby team and communications partner to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) until 2024. The agreement also saw Vodafone become official sponsor of the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship. The multi-year deal will see Vodafone and the IRFU work together to use both new and existing technology to create events, activations and content that will benefit all rugby fans and Vodafone customers in Ireland.

British & Irish Lions

The British & Irish Lions are one of the most famous teams in the world of rugby. Every four years, the Lions – selected from the national sides of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – head to the southern hemisphere to do battle with rugby heavyweights New Zealand, Australia or South Africa.

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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. By spring 2022, our target is to make full fibre services available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

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