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Orphan Aid As Part of Successful Rugby Tour

14th November 2011

Cutting down trees in an orchard, digging an allotment and help building fences at an orphanage were all part of a rugby tour to Transylvania.

The 25-strong squad of Year 11, 12 and 13 players from the Chatham and Clarendon Grammar Federation in Ramsgate travelled to Sibiu for the seven-day trip.

As well as recording impressive victories against three under 18 sides with scores of 84-0, 40-0, and 12-7, the squad also set to work supporting the Orphan Aid charity.

They worked with the small orphanage called Little John’s House which looks after special needs children who would otherwise be on the streets.

Senior Tutor Phil Hughes who organised the trip said: “Although the home has sparse facilities and no running water, the children are well cared for and we were happy to help them out.  We found out about Little John’s House through a former student, Beth Yorath, who worked there for a year.  The children immediately took to our boys and our lads were fantastic with them and really worked hard to help complete some necessary tasks at the orphanage.”

A visit to a primary and secondary school in the area was also on the agenda, where the Ramsgate party played rugby and other games with the children.

Donations of £1000 for the orphanage and £1,000 worth of sports equipment for the schools were made, collected through a variety of fund raising event at the Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School Federation including a sports quiz, a non-uniform day and bag packing at the Westwood Cross Sainsbury’s checkouts.

Mr Hughes said: “For many of our boys it was a life-changing experience and some have said they would like to return to do voluntary work. It was refreshing to see them get stuck into the work at the orphanage and embrace the whole experience their visit to Transylvania offered.”

The trip was supported by local businesses including Gadds brewery, Sainsbury’s, Farley’s Furniture, Ridge Crest cleaning company, Stonelees Golf Centre, Invicta storage systems, Thorley Taverns, the Royal Temple Yacht Club and Thanet Wanderers rugby club.

Mr Hughes, who has organised school rugby trips to America, Canada, Portugal, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, said: “As well as playing the matches and training every day, the trip gave our boys a fantastic insight into the culture and heritage of another country and an invaluable chance to experience a different way of life.”

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