Leamington Rugby Club has gained some new fans abroad thanks to a kind donation they have made to a team of youngsters in Italy.
Club chairman Phil McGaffin saw on a rugby page on Facebook that ex-pat Chris Phillips has set up a team for children and teenagers who play for the newly formed Pescia Rugby Club and offered to help with the campaign to get the team off the ground.
He contacted Mr Phillips and arranged for some first team kits and five Rugby World Cup-branded balls to be sent by courier.
Mr Phillips said: “We received our rugby shirts from Leamington RFC two days ago and they had added to the already incredible surprise by putting in five Rugby World Cup balls.
“Phil McGaffin has never met us and Leamington RFC have no connection with us, however, they found out about what we are doing and decided to help us in a way that has made an incredible difference to our new club that they will never know.
“We think Leamington should be enormously proud of these people and their rugby club.
“This has really made our Christmas.”
Mr McGaffin said he was impressed by Mr Phillips’love of the game and desoire to hring it to an area where there was currently no established clubs.
He added: “They don’t have a lot at the moment - they have a patch of land and no club house but they are quite ambitious and it seems to have taken off well there.
“Usually if we have any spare kits we will send them off to Africa but we through in this cas it would be ideal to help them to get their team up and running.
“The sport here at grass roots level is struggling a bit and the RFU are trying to get more youngsters playing so this was our way of putting soemthing back into the game as a whole because we love it and want it to prosper.”
Mr McGaffin said that because of the smalll but stretchy nature of new rugby shirts the kit would be able to fit youngsters of various sizes.
He also said that the new connection between the clubs could lead to tours in the future.
Mr McGaffin said: “We’re interested to see how the club progresses and we’ll try to help them out whenever we can.”
Pescia Rugby Club provides free Rugby to the young people of the area.
Pescia is a city in the province of Pistoia, Tuscany in central Italy.
For more information about Leamington RFC visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/leamington