10-year-old rugby fan Ryan Mahajan is hoping to raise thousands for frontline healthcare heroes, after coming up with the idea of selling a rainbow-design rugby shirt and rugby ball, which will now go on sale this week and see all proceeds donated to charity.
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Ryan’s family run Aramis Rugby, a company based in South Molton which provides clothing and equipment to the rugby world. From this week a specially designed rugby shirt and rugby ball will be available to purchase from their website, with 100% of the purchase price going to North Devon Hospice as well as the charity for North Devon District Hospital, Over & Above.
“I felt bad that while we are safe inside our homes in lockdown, the healthcare workers were working to save lives, sometimes risking their own,” said Ryan, who is a keen rugby player for Barnstaple RFC Under-11s. “I want to raise a lot of money for healthcare workers as they don’t sometimes get to see their loved ones because of working in hospitals and hospices. I want to thank them for helping sick people and for helping us during coronavirus.”
After being inspired by Ryan’s idea, the design team at Aramis Rugby worked to create a rugby shirt and rugby ball concept which would include the rainbow colours, seen as a symbol of hope during the coronavirus and a sign of thanks to our healthcare heroes. The product is now ready to be purchased and shipped anywhere in the world, raising funds for vital frontline healthcare.
Ryan’s mum, Roshni Mahajan, is Sales & Marketing Director of Aramis Rugby. “This whole thing has been Ryan’s idea, and we’re just helping him out! We’re so proud to be supporting North Devon Hospice and Over & Above, so much so that Aramis will absorb the cost of the jersey and the ball, so that 100% of the purchase price can go to these vital charities.” she said. “It is important for us to support and promote our local community. Last year we broke the Guinness World Record for the largest rugby ball ever produced, and that also raised lots for charity and helped to put North Devon in the spotlight. As a parent I am really proud that Ryan has understood and is working towards our ethos, which is to invest in the community and that commerce will follow.”
Caroline Facey is a nurse at North Devon Hospice. She said this was an inspiring initiative, which would benefit people going through the toughest times. “Here at the hospice we care for those with an incurable illness, and for our patients to have to deal with the worry of coronavirus restrictions as well is just unimaginable. But thanks to the local community, we’ve been able to carry on caring for those who need us. We simply wouldn’t be able to do this without amazing people like Ryan and the team at Aramis. We are blown away by their generosity and think this is a really imaginative way to encourage people to show their support. I’d encourage anyone, rugby fan or not, to go and buy a shirt or a ball, because it really will make a difference to someone’s life.”
The special, limited-edition rainbow coloured rugby shirts are on sale for £45, with the rugby balls at £25. You can even buy a set of four rainbow-themed face masks too for £20. Every penny of the purchase price goes directly to charity, with the production costs all being absorbed by the company. Visit AramisRugby.co.uk/charity to get your hands on them now.
North Devon’s MP, Selaine Saxby said she was supportive of the fundraising scheme: “We have seen many companies in North Devon doing their part supporting the NHS and their communities throughout this crisis. I am delighted to see Aramis Rugby from South Molton doing their part for two local health charities, North Devon Hospice and Over and Above. They are not only donating the profits but all of the proceeds to these amazing causes. Thank you for everything you are doing and I hope lots of North Devon residents will indulge in a rainbow rugby ball and shirt.”