News

Hearts + Balls MB 7s Teams Make History With Huge Wins

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In just two weeks of sevens action, the Hearts + Balls MB 7s teams have already claimed three trophies.

Last week, the Hearts + Balls MB 7s won its debut tournament – Edinburgh City 7s. The ladies defeated Corstophine Cougars in the final. Laura Wilkie was named Player of the Tournament. 

On Saturday, the charity’s women’s team continued their incredible debut season, making it two for two with a win at Peebles’ King of the 7s tournament. 

 

 

And the men helped the charity make history when they defeated Selkirk 12-7 – making Hearts + Balls MB7s the first side to ever complete the double with a men’s and women’s win at the event. James “Sax” Ferguson was named player of the tournament. 

You can see both teams’ dramatic wins and more action from the tournament, here. 

 

 

Hearts+Balls chair Kenny Hamilton said:

 

“The ability to promote the charity and its work through the participation of the H+BMB 7s had already brought significant dividends through the continuing generosity of the Scottish rugby community.

“Every weekend they are spreading the message of our charity by playing incredible winning rugby with great spirit. We are hugely grateful to every player who has done us proud while wearing the shirt, all the teams’ sponsors and especially to Dylan Russell who has been the driving force behind Hearts + Balls MB 7s since it began.”

HBMB 7s is sponsored by LIFT, Argyle Consulting LTD., SoundSurf, Bier Hoose, Pure Sport CBD, Ryden, Hit., and Sports Hall Medical Supplies. 

LIVE RUGBY IS ALMOST HERE

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We’re delighted to announce that our Hearts+Balls Mighty Bovs ( HBMB) sevens teams are raring  to go for their first tournament since August 2019, as the pandemic restrictions are lifted. 

We break new ground by fielding  three teams, including our ladies team, at the Edinburgh City 7s on Saturday 31st July / Sunday 1st August at Edinburgh University, Peffermill.  Please come along for a great day of elite, social and veterans 7s rugby. https://www.edinburghcity7s.com/

We are very grateful to the ongoing support of the sponsors of our charity 7s teams; Ryden , Argyle Consulting, Sound Surf (prev. Cream Floats) , Bier Hoose and Rival Kit.

Below are the the captains of our Ladies, Mens Elite and Mens Social  teams.  Good luck to all teams  participating.

2022 DATE CONFIRMED FOR GRAND SLAM CELEBRATION DINNER

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Further to the 

We are determined to make sure the players from both Grand Slam-winning teams, and all of you, have the chance to come together to recognise two of Scottish Rugby’s proudest moments.

The players from Scotland’s Grand Slam-winning team of 1984 and 1990 and Hearts + Balls are pleased to announce the new date for the Grand Slam Celebration Dinner:

Saturday 21st May 2022 at the EICC 

All tickets from our postponed event will be honoured.

If you have any questions about the event, your ticket or would like to purchase a table,  please contact info@heartsandballs.org.uk

We will all deserve this chance to celebrate once all this is over and look forward to welcoming you to the EICC in 2021, provided it’s safe to do so.

Tickets are available here – Hearts & Balls

SUPPORTER VOWS TO RUN ALMOST 2,000K FOR HEARTS + BALLS

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Dylan Russell, who last June led 30 Hearts + Balls MB players to run a combined 800 miles for Hearts + Balls, has his sights set on a new challenge.

Starting in June this year, our charity sevens team manager will run a minimum of 35K every week for 52 weeks – an average of at least 5K a day for 365 days.

He’s doing it to raise money to help us provide support to members of the rugby community who have suffered life changing injuries and to help another amazing charity, Support & Offload.

To donate to Dylan’s challenge, visit his gofundme page.

Well done Dylan! If you want to discuss supporting Hearts + Balls by taking on a challenge this year, get in touch.  

30 Scottish Rugby players teamed-up to run more than 800 miles – here’s why.

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By Dylan Russell, HBMB club manager.

We were all geared up for a big 7s season. The official charity merger between Hearts and Balls and The Mighty Bovs. 

 30 players signed up to play in amazing new kit (courtesy of Rival Kit) in 13 tournaments across the UK. With the success of previous seasons, we knew we were on to a winner this year. After our very successful charity cycle last year for the charity,  we knew we needed something bigger this year as well. So we planned a Three Peaks Challenge.

Then, Covid-19 struck. National lockdown. No sports. Absolute standstill. Plans for the season canceled.

With tournament after tournament postponed and then inevitably cancelled, we were desperate to try and make sure the Three Peaks Challenge could still go ahead so we help a charity we all truly believe in.  When even this was postponed we started running through ideas for what we could do instead. It needed to be smaller and more manageable due to lockdown restrictions but still interesting and impressive enough that people would get involved and donate during what is a financially uncertain time.

We decided upon the Longest Day Challenge as a lot of the boys had started taking advantage of the daily exercise to get outdoors and run. We also decided that facing off the Forwards against the Backs would fulfill the competitive void left from the cancelled 7s season. What better rivalry than the age-old Forwards vs Backs. We signed up all the players for the season and made the rules simple. It had to be done on the 21st as this was the Longest Day. The exercise had to be completed in one continuous effort run/walk/jog and it had to cover a minimum distance of 10km. If each player managed this then we would cover 300km for the charity and hopefully raise about £1000.

With a lot of people doing various things for different charities we had to do something different to raise the profile of the event and ge attention. We had great support from various different players in the game including Scotland 7s players (Robbie Fergusson, Ross Mccann, Megan Gaffney and Abi Evans), England 7s players (Sydney Gregson, Deborah Fleming and Ellie Kidunne) and various other pros such as Edinburgh’s Jamie Hodgson and Murray Mccallum, Glasgow Warriors Kyle Steyn and George Turner and Saracens Callum Hunter-Hill.

The efforts from the players on the day was absolutely astounding. We had been drumming up some noise amongst each other over our Whatsapp group and it definitely worked. The 10km minimum went out the window as the average distance came in at 27.7km. There were many half-marathons, marathons and even a couple ultra-marathons. The forwards took the spoils 416km to 408km. That’s over 800km for the charity. It was a close battle throughout the full day but the man who ran the longest solo distance was Danny Bain with just over 56km. Special shout out to Stewart Hagart who manned the social media, doing an amazing job whilst I was out running an ultramarathon before going and doing his first half marathon himself. Every single effort was superb from each player especially given the typical Scottish weather of four seasons in one day!

The amount raised is ridiculous as well so huge thanks to everyone who has donated and to each and every player who helped drive the donations over the last 4 weeks. Currently (Including Gift Aid) we are sitting at £4941.18. A monumental amount raised and absolutely blowing our initial £1000 target out the water!

Some seriously tired legs today amongst the boys but as always an absolute pleasure to do what we can for the charity and we’ll just have to wait until next season to allow us to do our bit on the pitch once again.

FORWARDS AND BACKS GO HEAD TO HEAD TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HEARTS + BALLS

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With no tournaments to play, our sevens team, Hearts + Balls MB took on an almighty challenge -the #HBMBLongestDay

Two teams of 15, one made up of forwards, the other of backs, went  head to head to see which team could clock up the longest distance on the longest day. 

And the results are in…

 

The forwards defeated the backs by just eight miles, running 416 miles compared to the backs’ still impressive effort of 408 miles.

What’s even more impressive is together they’ve helped raise more than £5k to help members of our rugby community who need our support. 

From everyone involved at Hearts + Balls, we offer a massive thank you.

You can add to their impressive total here. https://lnkd.in/dxSzrF9

And here’s what club manager Dylan Russell had to say about the #HBMB longest day.

 

 

CALLING ON SCOTLAND’S RUGBY COMMUNITY TO TAKE ON #TWOPOINTSIXCHALLENGE

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In the week when our charity’s biggest ever fundraising event, the Grand Slam Celebration Dinner, was supposed to take place, our chair Kenny Hamilton has called on more members of the rugby community to complete 26 burpees each – and challenge others to do the same.

The charity effort was inspired by organisers of the London Marathon who were forced to postpone this year’s event, so created the Two Point Six Challenge to raise money for these foundations so they can make it through COVID-19 and continue supporting their causes once the world gets back to normal.

Last year, GHK rugby club’s Gordon Hollerin raised more than £6,000 for the charity by completing the London Marathon.

This year, more than 50 members of GHK Rugby Club, including former Glasgow Warriors hooker Kevin Bruce and former Edinburgh Rugby full back Jack Cuthbert,  have completed 26 burpees to raise money for Hearts + Balls.

The more clubs involved, the more we can help rugby help its own.

All you need to do is:

  • Film yourself completing 26 burpees
  • Nominate 2, 6 or 26 others
  • Post your burpees and nominees on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (tag @Heartsandballs)
  • Donate, £2, £6, £26 or any amount you can afford via Virgin Money Giving

Hearts + Balls MB to take part in Three Peaks Challenge to help rugby help its own

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Our 7s squad, Hearts + Balls MB, will go more than a few steps beyond in their efforts for the charity this year. 

They’ll take a break from their packed schedule of tournaments on June 27th, when they plan to conquer the highest summits in Scotland, England and Wales in just 24hours.

It’s all to raise funds and awareness for Hearts + Balls and to “help rugby help its own”.

If you want to make Hearts + Balls part of your club’s fundraising efforts this year, get in touch!

You can donate to their efforts here:

Hearts + Balls MB announces new squad and unveils new kit ahead of 2020 campaign

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Hearts + Balls MB has announced its squad for the 2020 sevens circuit.
And they’ll look the part in brand new kit, courtesy of Rival Kit.
 
The team’s ambassador Colin Gregor presented the players with their new kit at the campaign’s launch event at Bier Hoose last week.
 
The former Scotland sevens captain said: “Every single one of the 30 players selected for this year’s Hearts + Balls MB squad will make a huge impact, not only on the sevens circuit but on the lives of injured rugby players. By playing entertaining rugby across the country and beyond this spring, they’ll help spread awareness of and fundraise for an incredible charity doing great things to help members of the rugby community who need support.”

“The squad will develop both on and off the pitch, and will share incredibly memorable experiences. The players are all inspired by the people the charity supports and they, in turn, hope to provide opportunities for the beneficiaries to develop and benefit.”
 
Businesses across Scotland have backed the team ahead of the campaign, including Argyle Consulting, Bier Hoose, Cream Floats, Ryden, HIT, Lift Gyms and SportsHall medical supplies.
 
Club manager Dylan Russell said: “We would like to thank all our sponsors and partners who are working alongside us this year. The players are incredibly motivated to do the charity proud and they’ll do that by playing an incredibly exciting brand of rugby with great spirit throughout this season, and for many years to come. They have impressed in previous seasons and I feel this one is going to be even bigger so keep an eye out for our summer schedule launching and come along to support!”
 
Here’s the Hearts + Balls MB 2020 squad:
Euan Bowen (1)
Stewart Hagart (2)
Jamez Ferguson (3)
Andrew Wilson (4)
Graeme Mitchell (5)
Mark Sinclair (6)
Dylan Russell (7)
Kyle Adams (8)
James Ferguson (9)
Craig Davidson (10)
Andy Smith (11)
Calum Hart (12)
Nathan Ross (13)
Willie Malcolm (14)
Euan Morrison (15)
David Devlin (16)
Will Lockhart (17)
Charlie Simmonds (18)
Jamie Mcgurk (19)
Matt Sanderson (20)
Dale Gordon (21)
Gus Hillhouse (22)
James King (23)
FInlay Broomfield (24)
Scott Aldritt (25)
Freddie Roddick (26)
Rhys Gilroy (27)
Danny Bain (28)
Thomas Klein (29)
Geoff Angco (30)
Pictured with Colin Gregor: Euan Bowen (Founder), Dylan Russell (Club Manager).
Thanks to Libby Blakeman (@theogblakemanphotos) for all photos.

GRAND SLAM CELEBRATION DINNER

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CALDER BROTHERS SHARE MURRAYFIELD MEMORIES AHEAD OF GRAND SLAM DINNER

 Scotland’s Grand Slam winning squads of 1984 and 1990 team up to raise money for Hearts + Balls 

Scotland’s Grand Slam winning teams of 1984 and 1990 will come together for the very first time at a unique dinner to raise money for rugby players who have suffered life changing injuries.

The Grand Slam Celebration dinner, which will take place on Saturday 21st May 2022 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, will raise awareness and funds for Hearts + Balls. The event will mark the 30th Anniversary of the 1990 Grand Slam win.

Jim Calder, who scored the winning try in Scotland’s 21-12 victory over France at Murrayfield in 1984, which gave Scotland its first Grand Slam since 1925, was joined by his brother Finlay, the flanker who helped Scotland to glory in 1990, at the Dinner’s launch at BT Murrayfield today.

Jim, who never played in the same Scotland Test side as his twin brother, said: “It might have been 36 years ago, but sometimes it feels like yesterday. It was just tremendous to have been involved in such an iconic moment in Scottish Rugby. My only small regret is that I wasn’t able to play here with Fin in 1990!

“Both teams are looking forward to getting together to compare stories and have a bit of friendly debate about which team would have won had we ever played each other. Rugby provided some of the best moments of our lives, so it’s important we all come together to raise funds to support rugby players and their families during times of need.”

Full squads from both 1984 and 1990 will be in attendance at the event which will be hosted by Dougie Donnelly, who was an integral part of the TV coverage in both 1984 and 1990, and features music from 1984 Grand Slam winner John Beattie and his band.

Since Hearts + Balls was founded in 1999, it has provided more than £650,000 to rugby players who have suffered serious injuries. The support has ranged from property conversions to counselling.

The charity’s chairman Kenny Hamilton said: “This event and the generosity of Scotland’s rugby community will help  Hearts + Balls continue to make a real and lasting difference to those who need it most, and to help support initiatives to make the game we all love as safe as possible.”

Hearts + Balls is currently collaborating with Scottish Rugby on a major injury prevention strategy and is working to support the growth of wheelchair rugby.

Tickets are available here – Hearts & Balls