Hundreds gathered for Sale Sharks’ ‘100 Club’ annual review, with Tom Curry’s boyhood rugby club landing a major financial boost.
At 18 years and 360 days old Tom, who grew up playing for Crewe & Nantwich RUFC alongside twin brother Ben, became England’s youngest debutant since Jonny Wilkinson during the summer fixture against Argentina.
As part of Sale Sharks’ ‘100 Club’ – a major project to help secure the future of rugby in the North West of England – the Premiership outfit gave £10,000 to Crewe & Nantwich in recognition of Curry landing an international appearance.
During the ‘100 Club’ annual review, which is run in partnership with Bollington Insurance, a further £8,000 was donated to grassroots clubs throughout the north west.
Manchester Rugby Club and Waterloo each pocketed £2,000 after former players Luke James and Sam Moore made their Sale Sharks debuts earlier this season.
Aaron Reed and Matt Sturgess’ first appearances for the north west’s only Premiership rugby side saw their ex-club Preston Grasshoppers land a total cash injection of £4,000.
Sale Sharks’ director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “Sale Sharks’ vision is to have 75% of our senior squad consisting of players from the North West of England by 2020, and the ‘100 Club’ in association with Bollington Insurance is an integral part of that objective.
“The first full year of the ‘100 Club’ has been a real success. Strategically, we are well on our way to achieving objectives which include creating well balanced young people, developing future England internationals, retaining talent in the north west talent pool and rewarding grassroots clubs across the region.”
He added: “Since January 2017 coach education sessions have been completed at 10 rugby clubs, with 12 more planned for other clubs in the region during the remainder of the 2017/18 season.
“As part of this pioneering long-term initiative 1,277 players have been assessed for the Academy Developing Player Pathway (DPP), with 608 players currently in the DPP, 890 players expected to be in it by the end of the season and 73 clubs represented in the DPP.”
As an official partner Bollington Insurance is providing quality commercial insurance and risk assessments to rugby clubs who form part of the ‘100 Club’, as well as competitively priced personal and commercial insurance to club members and their families.
Wayne Andrew, Corporate Business Development Manager at Bollington Insurance, said: “The ‘100 Club’ aims to help secure the future of rugby in the North West of England.
“We’re delighted to be so involved with this unique project which helps young sportspeople reach their full potential.”