The Paul Keohane Sports Fund is fortunate to have a wide range of supporters from the world of rugby and other sports as well as a dedicated group of trustees who run the organisation.
To see more information about our supporters, click the Read More button underneath their name.
Today, a message from Rio. With 81 International Caps and over 500 Premiership Appearances, Rio knows how sport can change lives.
"Listen to the coaches and enjoy it!", he's not wrong!!!
Our Schools Rugby Programme has delivered curriculum lessons to over 450 students in our first three weeks as well as running the 'open' Rugby Hub held every Wednesday from 15:15 to 16:15 held at Royal Harbour Academy.
"Good Luck to everyone involved in the Thanet Wanderers Schools Rugby Hub initiative from the USA 7s Team. I'm sure that your programme will be a tremendous success.
As an international coach, from Kent, I am currently responsible for the top 20 or so rugby athletes in the USA. These men have come from all walks of life, some being privileged, others from troubled and disadvantaged backgrounds but, through rugby, they all share common traits, that allow us to build our team.
First and foremost, they are committed to work hard, individually and for each other, so they can get better as players and men. They are resilient and adaptable and work hard to accommodate each other. They communicate with honesty, for the benefit of the team, this may mean a hard word or a word of support but always delivered with respect and empathy.
I hope that these disciplines will help you to grow your team too."
This week a very special message of support from some very special friends and 'Irish Legends'.
This is from the World Rugby Classics Bermuda a couple of weeks ago. These gents just missed out, getting beaten by Argentina in the final.
"Rugby = Lifelong friends"
Stars of the Video Message:
Front: Mel Deane, Marcus Horan, Justin Bishop. Back: Gareth Logan, Andrew Browne, Len Dineen Jnr, David Moore
A message of "Good Luck" from Mr Worsley, aka Melon
Many, many moons ago I had the pleasure of being completely destroyed, all game, by this (then) young man when he was playing for a midweek Wasps Development side.
To the Wasps, England and British and Irish Lions legend, from the kids of the Schools Programme, "thanks for your message, Joe".
This week has been the busiest so far...
Thanks to all of our supporters and sponsors
Today, a video message from Chris Wyles on his 254th appearance for Saracens against Sale Sharks regarding the Thanet Wanderers Schools and Community Rugby Programme.
For those who are unaware our Community Programme is the entrance level of our rugby development pathway which takes the journey from Community Sports to Schools Rugby to Wanderers Rugby to Saracens/Kent Development to Saracens Academy to Saracens Senior Squad to International Rugby.
Most importantly providing sports opportunity to our kids can really make a difference to their live choices and personal pathways.
“Hi Cary, just wanted to say I think it’s amazing what you’re doing in the East Kent area and I can really see the benefits the program can offer to all those involved.
As you know I didn’t get any chance to play rugby at school and only played at my local club level until I was 16, I wish I’d have had more of an opportunity to do so throughout school but nevertheless the game of rugby completely captured me and now I have captained Blackheath, the oldest rugby club in the world over 100 times, I have represented my country through the England Counties team, travelled to parts of the world I otherwise wouldn’t have, made life long friends and secured myself an off field career with a lot of potential, all through this great game.
The opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, understand and appreciate how different cultures work and come together to work towards a goal is a hugely powerful thing and it motivates me still to this day.
I’d like to wish all those involved with the Thanet Wanderers School rugby programme the very best of luck and just remember to chuck yourself in....you might just enjoy it!
Cheers mate, Markus.”
"Try really hard and give the best you've got, wherever you are and whatever level or standard you are playing or training at.
You must enjoy it first, if you don't it doesn't matter what level you're playing at, you won't succeed!
Find the best ways to manage your game, seek advice on improving, from the right sources, but don't forget to always work hard, enjoy the game and have respect for all involved in the game. Do this and you can achieve."
"To all the wonderful students taking part in the amazing Thanet Schools Rugby Hub programme I wish you nothing but the best with your future rugby goals and careers. Rugby can and has changed the lives of many young people that I know. I have seen boys and girls grow as people through the values and ethos that this wonderful sport provides.
Rugby gives you knowledge of how your body works and how you can push yourself to improve your physical and mental strength. I have seen students excel at school due to them playing rugby. Teamwork, working hard, being in control of yourself and your emotions, acceptance, respect, resilience, making the right choices and friendship are all but some of the values that you pick up by playing this sport, all of which are transferable to you at school and then out into the world of work.
It is these factors that have been learnt at school playing rugby that have made the difference to my students lives. Life long friendships have been forged on the rugby pitch. Travel, seeing other cultures, employment opportunities have all been seen and had because of rugby. Some of which most young people would never get to witness without this sport.
If you are new to rugby you know it is physical and yes it is tough at times but at the end of every game win, lose or draw you would have done something amazing on that pitch, some individual magic or helped your team, encouraged a team mate or commended a player on the opposing team. You would have learnt something about yourself and that is Rugby.
This is a sport where you see girls, boys, men and women of all shapes, sizes, races, sexual preference, nationalities and different religions come together to chase an egg shaped ball around a patch of grass for 80 minutes, weird I know, but Rugby isn’t just a sport it is a way of life so embrace it and see where it takes you."
"To all the guys at Thanet Wanderers Schools and Community Programme.
You guys (year 10) are now approaching a really important time in your lives and I've been asked to give you a few words of advice.
Education is of course very important however not everybody can be, or needs to be, an academic high-achiever to make something of themselves. Hard-work, dedication and determination can take you a long way and these disciplines have been the building blocks of my career.
I joined the army at 16 having left school with no qualifications. The army introduced me to Rugby and despite not playing the sport before I quickly excelled in the game. Following success with the Army team and Blackheath Rugby Club I joined Northampton Saints in 1996 at the age of 23 and received my first international call up for Scotland in the same year.
Rugby gave me the opportunity to be part of a highly successful team. Successful teams are created from common goals and a collective drive toward achieving them. The people I have shared my sporting experiences with are more than great friends, we are a family and that goes beyond the sport itself. Sporting skills are important in a team but more important is the trust, the support and the camaraderie that bonds us together because that will last a lifetime.
So long as you work hard and always give your best you won’t go far wrong.
Best of luck - Mattie Stewart"
"I started playing Rugby at school in year 7 and joined Thanet Wanderers in year 9 where I was able to access different coaches and mentoring from 1st Team players.
Rugby has allowed me to meet new people, have an amazing social life and keep fit.
As a PE teacher I try to encourage rugby to all abilities and sizes of student. Once a student has got to grips with the rules and becomes more confident, I see them really enjoying the sport of rugby.
If you are nervous, don't be afraid to speak with your coach or teacher and they will help you in becoming better and more comfortable in the session.
Good Luck and have fun!"
"Good Luck to all those involved in the Thanet Wanderers Schools Rugby Hub initiative. I have no doubt that your programme will be not only successful but hugely rewarding for all.
Having played rugby for the last 27 years, and being a Kent girl originally from the mighty Medway, I am currently captain at Harlequins with 84 England caps representing in 4 World Cups, winning it in 2014, I have so many good experiences and friendships with so many people as a result of playing and enjoying the game.
I am a great believer that all young people from all walks of life can gain skills and motivation playing rugby, they can also learn about teamwork and goal setting which have been a big part of my rugby journey.
If you are brave, determined and work hard, in the good times and through the tough times ...you can dare to dream!"
"Best of luck to Thanet Schools in all your training. Aim high, work hard and you'll get results."
- Abbie Brown and the England Women's 7s Squad
"All the best, make sure you train hard, enjoy your rugby and every day get a little bit better, so go well, cheers".
"Hi Guys, Piers Francis from England, just want to say all the best to The Royal Harbour Academy this season, go well, (I hear you've got some good coaches) so all the best."
Rugby has taken me all over the world and I have met some of my closest friends through the sport. Rugby demands a great deal from you; hard work, discipline and pushing through pain and discomfort.
However, this is what builds the bonds between teammates, and the rewards far outweigh the tough times. It doesn't matter what you look like, how much sport you've played before, or what your background is, there is a place for everybody on a rugby team.
I'd like to wish a massive good luck to all those involved with the Thanet Wanderers School rugby programme, enjoy it!
Helen Nelson, Scotland
Best of luck to all of you involved in the Thanet Schools Rugby Hub programme.
Coming from a completely different sport, changing to rugby seven years ago, I could never imagine that I would go from representing my local Swedish club, barely getting a full team together, to having the opportunity to represent my country, Wasps and Barbarians.
With the support from teammates and coaches, find the motivation to work hard both on and off the field. And by working hard, there will be nothing stopping you from achieving any goals you set your mind into. Rugby has given me the opportunity to travel and meet new people all over the world. I have been able to move to a new country, just to find amazing friends and teammates.
This is what the sport does, rugby makes you feel at home regardless of where you are from or what your previous skills might be. Be brave and enjoy every minute of it!
Tova Derk, Sweden 7s and 15s, Wasps, Barbarians
I first picked up a rugby ball with my two brothers at the age of seven. I always wanted to do everything they did - I wanted to be tougher and stronger than both of them. But they made it look so easy. That was what made it difficult, being so little and rubbish at passing and catching.
I was determined to keep training and decided to attend weekly; bit by bit I learnt a little more each week. Suddenly, I realized that I could do 'a lot more' than I thought. My journey was rewarding and I was flourishing - That's the wonderful thing about rugby, you realize that you're not made of glass and you can actually make so many different decisions no matter how long you have played, you become brave and surprise yourself.
Since then I have learned so much about my capabilities, and rugby taught me that mistakes are important, you work hard to fix them and your teammates always have your back.
In my twenties, I found my way climbing towards an Irish playing shirt. Playing for Ireland 7s and 15s has been such a highlight of my rugby career and I have some of the best memories traveling and meeting people from all over the world - I would never have be able to get there if it wasn't for the opportunity to learn at grassroots level, and having so many coaches and people wanting me to succeed. Not just as a rugby player, but as a determined and diligent person.
Looking at the hard work of Thanet Wanderers School rugby programme, I believe that you will inspire so many people to play this wonderful sport.
If it wasn't for taking part in a programme like this one I would never have had the opportunity to live my life with the adventure of rugby, and I would certainly wouldn't change it for anything.
To all of the young players out there: Each day is full of opportunities. Work hard, do your best, learn from your mistakes and listen to your teachers and coaches. The sky is the limit and it is up to you to decide how far you go! Have fun and good luck!
To all the students taking part in the Thanet schools rugby hub programme I wish you the best of luck and hope you thrive.
Having played rugby for the past 10 or so years I've absolutely fallen in love with the game. I've met some of my best friends and other amazing people as a result. As well as being given the opportunity to travel the world playing the sport I love. In exploring different countries and cultures and being part of various different teams, I've learnt some truly valuable life lessons that I will always have with me.
This sport can teach you great values and behaviours that will transfer into everyday life and help to shape you as a person. If you're relentless and determined enough to put in the hard graft and you believe in yourself, you're half way to success.
Best of luck!
Sydney Gregson, England 7s
Good Luck to all the amazing Super Stars taking part in the Thanet Schools Rugby Hub Programme.
I am a firm believer in Rugby is for all and there certainly is a jersey for all!
I have been playing rugby for 23 years and throughout my rugby career I have met the most amazing people, team mates, coaches and friends that I now call my rugby family. The best thing about a rugby family is it never stops growing and you are never alone.
I've been lucky enough to travel the world with rugby and rugby has taught me the true values of life that I will carry with me forever, most of all it's taught me to follow my dreams and be whoever I want to be.
My Moto has always been, "If you look good, you'll feel good and you'll play good!!"
So, draw on those brows, apply that tan, whiten those teeth and play with the biggest smile on your face!!!!
To see more information about our trustees, click the Read More button underneath their name.
Gary is a former Chairman of Thanet Wanderers RUFC and has been involved with the club for 40 years.
Gary had the privilege and pleasure of captaining a veteran's side of the Wanderers in the 90s for a few seasons, which would include Paul on many occasions.
"One would always feel sorry for the opposition if Paul was playing, he was capable of lifting everybodys game and was always far more interested at how you had played, rather than take any credit for himself. The perfect team mate."
"When we instigated the Paul Keohane Sports Fund, this is exactly the vision we had for the funds raised."
Jimmy is an ex-player of Thanet Wanderers RUFC and club member for over 30 years. He has held various roles outside of playing including Tour Organiser, Social Events and assisting the Director of Marketing raise sponsorship for the club.
John is Paul's younger brother and ex-Thanet Wanderers RUFC player. Along with Gary Frame, Chris Marson, Jimmy Green and Cary Wright are trustees of the Sports Fund and all are thrilled by the take-up and enthusiasm for the programme.
After attending Chatham House In the sixth form John onto win the English rugby championship with Wasps and also, played for London Irish 1st XV for two seasons in the early 1990s.
Paul is dearly missed but the sports fund set-up in his honour is something the Keohane family, his wife Eleanor and daughters Freya, Ursula, Madeleine and Cordelia are very proud of and a fitting tribute to their dad.
Chris has played for Thanet Wanderers since 1982 and is yet to play his last game. He represented the 1st XV for over 20 years playing more than 700 games, he was player of the season 4 times and Club Captain between 1991-93 winning promotion in that time. He was part of the 1997 team that won the Intermediate Cup at Twickenham and the 2001 Kent Cup winning team. He continued playing in a successful 2nd XV and also for the Vets until very recently.
Chris has served the club as Vice Chairman (twice), Director of Marketing, Social Secretary, and Trustee. In total he has been on the committee of the club for more than 15 years. He has also been a junior coach since 2007 currently working with the U16 team.
Chris is passionate about how rugby changes lives and is very proud to be a trustee of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund.
Tony first played for Thanet Wanderers as a Colt in 1983.
After an initial leave of absence whilst studying in London, he returned to play for the Thanet Wanderers First team from 1988 to 2005. He represented the 1st XV for over 17 years playing more than 600 games He was player of the season 2 times (although it should have been many more if you ask him) and was Club Captain between 1994-95, winning the Eurotunnel Cup, Floodlit Cup, Dragon Boat Race, and placing second in London League 2. He was part of the 1997 team that won the Intermediate Cup at Twickenham and the 2001 Kent Cup winning team.
His greatest honour was playing in the Undefeated Dream Team with such legends as Bernie Farrell, Trevor Woodward, John Jackson, Peter Jones, Paul Keohane and Gary Frame.
His last action was reluctantly coming out of retirement and winning the Kent Veterans tournament in Deal, in 2013 playing no 8 for Thanet Wanderers. In the final, he tore 2 shoulder ligaments (his only notable structural failure) but continued to play, scoring 2 tries, in effect with 1 arm. This ended his playing days however.
Tony has also served the club as Director of Rugby, Social Secretary, Press relations Officer, Programme Writer, and Chief Cook.
He served on the Committee that was responsible for designing and building the (new) Clubhouse.
He is proud to have coached every age group from Minis to Colts, whether officially or as assistant coach in a guest capacity.
He coached the U15 side of 2007, and continued with these to Colt level where they won the Kent Cup in 2010.
Tony is passionate about how sport can help and influence children and young adults.
Tony is very proud to be a trustee of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund.
Cary is reasonably new to Thanet Wanderers RUFC, having moved to the area in 2015, but has already demonstrated his huge passion and enthusiasm for the development of Rugby and Young Players.
For the past 30 years, Cary has played, lead, managed, coached and Directed rugby at several clubs with London and the South East, but this is the first time that he has been involved where 'winning is not measured by the score on Saturday'.
He is finding the whole experience very rewarding.
Broadbiz Web Services Ltd. have invested in the local community since their foundation in 2005 and are proud to add the support of the Paul Keohane Sports Fund website to their Community Programme.
The Broadstairs-based web design company have been website providers and sponsors of Thanet Wanderers RUFC since 2008 and provide website packages priced from £20 per month. Owner Ian Lodge has long been a player, coach, referee and committee member since joining Thanet Wanderers RUFC in 2004.Visit The Broadbiz Website
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