Monday, 12 September 2016

Please read & help - IPF and Gracie Matthews


I am writing to you today because I am totally gutted with the story of Gracie Matthews, a girl like me or you, a fellow rugger. Gracie was a successful player when the biggest nightmare happened - she broke her leg during the game so badly, that the leg had to be amputated. She is much better now, I follow her on her blog at: - she seems to be doing well baring in mind what has happened to her.

But this is not exactly why I am writing to you. I am writing to you because of double standards in the RFU and their Injured Players Fund (IPF). RFU is a hugely funded organisation and we all know that women are massively underfunded in this sport anyway. Only few women are lucky enough to be paid at all for playing and now what the IPF has done is just outrageous - they have refused to help Gracie because... her injury is not serious enough. I don't know, but in my opinion it's pretty permanent, life changing and catastrophic. 

So few people got upset about it including Jeff Probyn who wrote a column about it. In the article linked here he still says it's unchecked info but Gracie already confirmed it on her twitter.

Why I am writing about this today? Because we are all women, we all play rugby and I think we can spare 2 min to support Gracie. Some guys on Facebook from "Women's Full Contact Sport" page have lunched a campaign for Gracie and they write emails to Mike England from IPF to tell him to change their decision on Gracie. Look at Gracie's website, check Probyn's column and please write to Mr English.

I allowed myself to copy an email that was sent by the Women's Full Contact Sport to and adjust it a bit (but feel free to write your own thing. Please get involved.

Dear Mr England,

I am writing to you regarding the IPF's decision not to regard a full leg amputation as a serious enough injury to get some financial help from IPF. The decision to exclude Gracie Mathews fro any grant by your awarding body is morally and professionally unacceptable.

Jeff Probyn has just written an article about it. I'm not going to ask you to reconsider. You should make this decision yourselves following Jeff's article.

The RFU is an extremely rich union substantively helped in this regard by the enormous volunteer network. Unlike soccer, your overall wage bill is sparse in comparison to revenues received. 

As a female rugby player, I want to tell you, that I am deeply concerned with your decision and I cannot imagine that me or any of my teammates would be refused a grant from you in a similar situation. 

Best regards,