Pictured above (left to right): Joe Rush (12yrs), George Bellinger (11yrs) and Daniel Lyall (14yrs) meet former England captain and current RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont CBE and Richard Hill MBE who played flanker for Saracens and England, playing a key role in helping to defeat Australia in the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
The Marriott London Twickenham Hotel once again partnered with family charity The Muscle Help Foundation in its second annual Rugby Muscle Dream programme on 20/21 March 2015.
Three rugby-loving fanatics from across the UK were selected from an unprecedented number of nominations to enjoy an once-in-a-lifetime sporting experience that saw England beat France 55-35 in an enthralling match at Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby.
|12yr-old Joe has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) & Aspergers; heard about opportunity via DFSG & Naomi House Hospice (Winchester). Note below from his mum (Annette) posted on Facebook:|
“Joe just called “thank you so much mum, I’ve had the best time of my life! We can’t thank you enough! Joe had such an amazing time! Made me cry! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”
Pictured below (left to right): Stewart, dad of beneficiary Joe Rush
The three lucky families were welcomed at the Marriott London Twickenham Hotel on Friday and were treated like VIP guests throughout their stay – everyone was presented with uniquely branded rugby-shirts provided by Rhino TeamWear (pictured below).
No experience at Twickenham is complete with a visit to The Rugby Store with a surprise spending allowance for each beneficiary, followed by the charity’s signature celebratory Muscle Warrior group dinner back at the hotel completed a long first day!
Room Service breakfast was enjoyed by all on Saturday followed by a group mooch outside the hotel to experience some pre-match atmosphere including several fun photo opportunities.
Pictured below (left to right): George, Dan, Michael and Joe in front of the famous 27ft tall bronze sculpture, depicting a rugby line-out (created by Pop artist and sculptor Gerald Laing).
Match-day tickets (courtesy of an RFU-ballot) with outstanding wheelchair accessible spaces (South Stand) right at the front provided terrific views of the action.
Once again, the power of social networking thanks in part to one of the charity’s Social Network Champions and key Volunteer Steve Stone together with tweets by the hotel and others including Lorraine Kelly (a Patron of the charity) resulted in a high level of online engagement and subliminal awareness being raised of MHF’s work.
|15yr-old Daniel has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD): heard about the opportunity via DFSG. Note below from his mum (Michelle) posted on Facebook:|
“What an amazing couple of days we have had! We have thoroughly enjoyed our experience! Although I would prefer not to be able to access all these wonderful things charities have to offer, I am truly grateful that they do. Thank you Muscle Help Foundation for your very kind hospitality! Sooooooooooo lucky to be a part of an amazing charity ~ thank you so very much for all your hard work! Dan and I have taken away THE most amazing memories xxxxx”
Michael McGrath, CEO of The Muscle Help Foundation commented “Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the wonderful Marriott team who were so warm in extending their hospitality, welcoming our families and just so brilliant in making everyone feel so special. The staff including the chefs and our waiter (Lucas) who looked after us and was so attentive over dinner made the whole experience so memorable.”
“The little touches from rugby ball gifts and personalised greetings on screens to comfortable accessible rooms and balloons with hand-written messages, it was another I’m pleased to say ‘magical’ Rugby Muscle Dream experience. Sadly the 26-point margin needed to win the Six Nations title was out of our control!” added McGrath.
Pictured below: the hotels Head Chefs either side of Lucas (our waiter)
And finally …
Your vote could help Joe, George and Dan to win the “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ Every Voice Counts Competition with a chance to star in the official 2015 England rugby team single #carrythemhome ~ please click the link below and vote now. Thank you!