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Air Ambulance Charity Day is poignant event at Hemsworth

14 June 2013

  • Hemsworth RFC urges community to back charity event
  • M62 tragedy puts air ambulance work in sharp focus

The work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) and its contribution to the community is well-known and widely acclaimed, but there are occasions when organisations raising funds to support the service have a poignant awareness of the work involved.

Air Ambulance Charity Day at Hemsworth RUFC on Sunday, August 18 will be one of those occasions when a Hemsworth XV will play an Air Ambulance Select XV which contains players with close family ties to victims of a major M62 motorway accident in which a mini-bus transporting a party of girls was involved in a fatal collision.

Bethany Jones, a young student, lost her life in the crash and several other members of the group were seriously injured. A charity named Beth’s Angels was created to support the injured players and that will share the proceeds of the day with the YAA.

The Air Ambulance were involved in the rescue operation and with Bethany well known to many of the players at Hemsworth from her school days and through work, the club decided that this year’s charity day should support that worthy cause.

Links between the YAA and the game will be strengthened when Paul Rowan, whose wife Louise, one of the girls injured in the crash who was recently released from hospital, joins Bethany’s brother Ryan in the team to be captained by Ryan Burrows of Leeds Carnegie RUFC.

Support for the YAA Select XV also comes from further afield, with players from Sandal RUFC, Wath RUFC, Barnsley RUFC, Pathos Tigers (Cyprus) RUFC, Royal Signals RFU, Wheatley Hills RUFC, Upton ARLFC and Sheffield Medicals RUFC all taking part.

Plans are also in place to supplement that guest list with a few overseas players, so a feast of rugby is assured.

A mini tournament for local schools on the morning of the game will launch proceedings while post-match entertainment is also being organised to accompany a fund-raising auction and raffle.

“The work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance is well known to rugby clubs and other sporting bodies across the county, but in our case their involvement in the M62 tragedy touched a community,” said Club President Brian May: “That provides us with a real incentive to generate as much funding as possible from this event and hopefully the Yorkshire rugby fraternity will support our efforts in whatever way they can.”

Auction donations or bids can be made by contacting any of the following:

Steve Newitt - Email: Steve@suseco.co.uk Tel: 07867 171841
Brian May (Hemsworth RUFC President) - Email: brian.may@talktalk.net Tel: 07971 216751
Joe Thompson (Hemsworth RUFC Club Captain - Email: joethompson12@talktalk.net Tel: 07515 735090 
Mark Perry (Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity) - Email: m.perry@yaa.org.uk Tel: 07768 175727
Sophie Wilkinson (Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity) Email - s.wilkinson@yaa.org.uk Tel: 01422 237900