England star Joseph visits Hackney RFC
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 01 July 2019
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England Rugby star Jonathan Joseph paid a special visit to Hackney RFC last weekend.
The club was chosen to be one of six showpiece rugby clubs across the country to mark the annual NatWest RugbyForce weekend and received a £3,000 grant for demonstrating that is has gone above and beyond to help make accessing rugby easier through their club.
It will go towards essential developments of the club, with special guest Joseph helping to start the work alongside their members.
"Grassroots rugby is where it starts for every player; it is essential we support this area of the game in any way we can" Joseph said.
"Helping more people with easy access to rugby means we are protecting the future of the sport but we are also having a positive impact on these local communities.
"That is the value of initiatives like NatWest RugbyForce. Seeing so many people coming down to help their club is amazing.
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"They are all supporting the club that has a special part in their community and I have loved being part of the day."
NatWest RugbyForce Weekend occurs every year and is an opportunity for rugby clubs to open their doors to their local communities, team members and volunteers to help make valuable improvements to their clubs.
Brett Williams, senior sponsorship manager at NatWest said: "Each year NatWest RugbyForce weekend makes it easier for people to get involved and enjoy the sport we all love.
"NatWest is proud to be able to offer grants to grassroots rugby clubs in need of support.
"The money the clubs receive will go directly to improving facilities, ordering essential kit and ensuring the club is set up for a sustainable and successful future.
"The ambition is that through the NatWest RugbyForce initiative, more people will be given easy access to rugby, ensuring the development of the game on and off the pitch."
Hackney RFC have four men's sides: The 1st XV Griffins, The 2nd XV Gargoyles, The 3rd XV Gogs and The Fantastic Fours.
They also run two women's sides, which were formed in 2010, and run 12 youth team sides as well as three girls teams after merging with the Hackney Bulls.