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Parliamentary rugby team raises £1,500 for Combat Stress

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Lords and MPs went head-to-head with veterans in a rugby match in London last week to raise £1,500 for Combat Stress.

The Commons and Lords Rugby Football Club was narrowly defeated 36-34 by the British Army Vets XV.

The match, held at the Honourable Artillery Company on 25 November, was organised by Mark Pawsey MP, the Chair of the Parliamentary team. In what was their first match since the outbreak of the pandemic, Mark was joined by Parliamentary colleagues and staff including Lord Addington, Johnny Mercer MP, Sam Tarry MP and Matt Warman MP.

Due to the ages of some of the players, a version of ‘golden oldies’ rules was applied to the match. Similar to touch rugby, the emphasis was on preventing injury to older players through uncontested scrums and players being “held” rather than tackled to the ground.

Mark said: “It was great to be able to get back on the rugby pitch with the Commons and Lords Rugby Football Team and raise money for such a worthy cause. I want to thank the British Army Vets for playing such a close and entertaining game, with both teams evenly matched right up to the final whistle.

“The Commons and Lords Team has always looked to support charities and matches such as this have always been a highlight. This year we chose Combat Stress, who work closely with those who have served our country in some of the most challenging circumstances. The money we have raised will enable Combat Stress to continue to provide highly specialised treatment to UK veterans at their centres in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Robert Marsh, Director of Fundraising at Combat Stress, said:
“We are extremely grateful to the Commons and Lords Rugby Football Club and British Army Vets XV for their support. Their donation will help us to continue supporting thousands of former servicemen and women across the UK to rebuild their lives.”