The joy of amateur rugby is that you get to have an awful lot of fun. You can spend time with your mates, drink some beer and win the odd game as well.
There is no sport like it for unifying people. It brings you into contact with people who you may never get to meet and people from all walks of life.
My life has been forever changed through my involvement in rugby and I take from it more than I could ever put back.
One thing about a sport like rugby is you get to go into a physical confrontation with these same people and for 80 minutes they are your band of brothers or sisters. No matter how you feel about them during that game they matter to you.
Like any physical confrontation there is an element of risk, I have experienced this first hand. I have been a victim of the popular ACL injury and a victim of a few blows to the head that have laid me low for a few months.
I was very lucky; I worked at the time for my father so I was lucky enough to receive full pay while I recovered. However some people are not quite so lucky and let’s make it clear. Serious injuries are not common but when they happen to amateur players who have to go to work on a Monday they can have a dramatic impact on your life.
This is what happened to Gracie Matthews last Sunday while playing for Bletchley women’s against Olney in a fiercely contested local derby.
In a relatively innocuous incident she seriously damaged her knee dislocating it and damaging the arteries and blood vessels. She has already undergone 2 surgeries and is likely to face a couple more. As a young person in the early stages of adult life this sort of thing is a massive setback. A wise member of the team set up a go fund me account to help raise some money for Gracie while she takes the steps towards a full recovery.
Gracie is a rugby enthusiast and exactly the sort of person rugby needs to encourage. She was having her first experience of county rugby this year and enjoying part of a very successful Bletchley season when this injury happened.
The rugby fraternity is a close knit place and within it we all look after each other. The generosity is legendary and has helped many players along the way.
If you are lucky enough to be part of this fraternity spare a moment and anything you can to help her out via https://www.gofundme.com/mqrc7xjg