The Newcastle finals of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup will leave a significant legacy after tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) entered into a partnership with My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
From the alliance with Finals Weekend, EPCR will contribute £51,500 to those projects (approximately €58,300) – roughly equal to £1 from each seat for the Heineken Champions Cup Final - with a range of activations surrounding the two showpiece matches at St. James’ Park on 10-11 May.
Finals weekend in Bilbao last May was screened in 115 countries and with new and improved television platforms this season, the partnership promises worldwide exposure for the Foundation.
EPCR Chairman Simon Halliday said: “The whole of the rugby family is behind Doddie and the fantastic work that is being done through the Foundation, so we are thrilled to be involved and helping to bring attention to treatment of MND. Having played against Doddie, I know he’s a tough competitor and it’s great to be on the same side as him now as we work together around the Newcastle Finals, which will be a fantastic occasion for all in European club rugby.”
Doddie Weir said: “We are delighted and overwhelmed by the support of EPCR with this partnership, especially in a city that is so close to our hearts. There is no cure for this horrific disease so to raise awareness as well as funds for crucial research is vital and we’ve had amazing support on a day-to-day basis.
“In the fifteen months since we set up the Foundation, we have committed more than two million pounds to help find a cure for MND. That could not be done without the generosity and support of everyone out there and we will soon share details of further significant investment into research programmes. It is testament to EPCR that they are helping us, we greatly appreciate their support.”