If you’ve been reading the blog in the last couple of weeks you’ll know that my company, 20h33, is partnering up with La Bodega Des Frenchies for the duration of the Rugby World Cup. I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical to start with. Would I be selling wine? Well no, the venue already has a bar. Ok, so what’s the plan then?
What we’ve been asked to do is to donate a bottle of wine each night La Bodega is open and use it as a prize for the nightly “guess the score” competition. It’s £2 for a guess, and if you’re the closest you take home the bottle of wine. Easy enough, right? We’ve also donated a couple of prizes (including a vineyard tour in Le Van Du Vin, and a signed rugby shirt) to the end of tournament raffle.
To be fair, we get to raise awareness of 20h33 amongst the French community of London who are down there cheering on “Les Bleus”. But something that I’m really happy about it is that all money collected goes towards the Serge Betsen Academy.
Serge Betsen was one of the stalwarts of the French forward pack for years and, on the showing of last Thursday night when I couldn’t get a word in edge ways for all the people asking for photos, he’s an incredibly popular legend now he’s hung up his boots. He’s set up a charity to help disadvantaged kids in Cameroon by raising money for educational and sporting programs.
It’s easy to be flippant about sports stars that set up these kinds of charities or foundations. But remember that they really don’t have to do it. They’ve got legendary status, they’ve got a couple of quid stashed away somewhere, they could lie back and enjoy retirement. But chatting with Serge, you can tell this Academy means a lot to him. It makes you want to help out where you can.
So donating a bottle of Crémant De Bordeaux and wandering round for an hour with my clipboard before kick off? Fair enough really, isn’t it?
P.S. Serge has got a charity dinner coming up this Thursday night (8th October) at The Grange Hotel in the City of London. There are guest speakers from all over French sport and world rugby. If you fancy going down to support this great cause then dust off the suit, sign up here, and enjoy the evening!