It’s official, it’s a done deal, hands have been shook and fists have been bumped. We are proud and delighted beyond words to announce that Brad Barritt is now an Ambassador for the Matt Hampson Foundation.
Brad has been a fantastic supporter of the Matt Hampson Foundation for many years and inviting him to officially come on board was a natural development. He has regularly attended fund raising dinners and other key events and he kept a genuinely interested eye on the GBL Centre during its construction to see how things were progressing.
“It is no exaggeration to say that it was a hugely proud moment when I was asked to be an Ambassador for the Foundation. When I first started getting involved several years ago I did it because I wanted to give something back. In truth I feel that I get more out of it than I put in because everyone involved with the Foundation is so special. Being a part of it all provides the ultimate feel good factor.”
Don’t let Brad’s humility fool you though, he’s playing down his input and that’s just a reflection of the kind of bloke he is. He puts his absolute all in to everything he commits to.
Tommy Cawston, CEO, is well aware of the benefits of having Brad involved;
“We know that we are gaining a huge asset to the Foundation. Having Brad join us is a reflection of the strength of the Foundation and the direction we are heading in. It’s all about getting good people to join us who share our vision and passion for doing good things.”
Let’s make something very clear here, Brad doesn’t know the meaning of ‘taking it easy’. The huge physical and psychological demands of being a professional rugby player are well documented and appreciated by those who follow the sport. Somehow Brad found the time in between the training, playing, recovery and travelling, as well as spending time with his family, to pick up the books and study for a MSc in Business Management. If that wasn’t enough he then decided that he wanted to start up his own business in the hugely competitive world of coffee roasting.
“Tiki Tonga started as a passion project really. I’d just finished my MSc and Saracens encourage all the players to have ongoing interests away from the game. Their feeling is that rather than it being a distraction having a focus away from rugby actually helps players retain a hunger to achieve and supports success on the pitch. You feel valued by the club and this culture fosters a sincere sense of loyalty to the club.”
It’s hard to argue with that philosophy seeing as Saracens have been a dominant force in English and European rugby for almost decade, pretty much since Brad joined them.
In fact Brad knows Henry Fraser, the Foundations very first beneficiary well due to the Saracens connection. Henry’s brother, Will Fraser, was a long serving team mate of Brad’s until his recent retirement.
“Henry, like Matt, is a great source of inspiration. Knowing guys like these helps you to keep perspective and focus. Supporting the Foundation makes you feel part of something altogether bigger and more powerful. It’s a privilege to be a part of it. I see my role as being a champion for the Foundation and having an opportunity like this is a unique life experience. I can’t wait to see the Centre full of people supporting each other and seeing it become the hub for rehabilitation that Hambo has wanted to create for so long.”
It will indeed be a fantastic sight to behold when the Centre officially opens its doors later in the year. It’ll be even better if Brad can keep providing the coffee!