The Brothers in Arms touch rugby tournament, 8 December 2023
Date: Sunday 10 Dec 2023
Matt Smith, an active member of the 'Keep in Touch' touch rugby team, is taking a significant leap beyond the rugby pitch to fundraise for Brothers in Arms (BIA), a charity committed to combating male suicide.
Here's his inspiring story.
'Keep in Touch' is more than just a touch rugby team – it's a closely-knit community of up to 100 players from diverse backgrounds. They meet every week throughout the year for games that not only keep them physically fit but also nurture their mental well-being. The sense of camaraderie among the group has been particularly impactful during challenging times, such as when they tragically lost one of their own members to suicide. However, this loss has sparked action. Smith and his team have rallied together, turning personal grief into collective resilience.
On December 8th, they are organizing an 'old man’s touch extravaganza.' This event will take place at Scotstoun Stadium before the Glasgow Warriors versus Northhampton Saints game and will conclude with a playoff final at halftime. The objective? To raise awareness about male suicide and generate funds for Brothers in Arms – all while enjoying some friendly competition on the rugby field.
"This event is for everyone who has felt the sting of loss," says Smith "We're coming together as friends to remember those we've lost and take proactive steps towards preventing further tragedies."
The chosen cause – Brothers in Arms – holds particular significance for 'Keep In Touch.' The charity utilizes technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to create innovative mental health support tools like #Blethr - an app designed to intervene ahead of any crisis.
"For every death due to suicide," Matthew says soberly "at least 100 family members and friends bear that impact."
With the support of Glasgow Warriors and various sponsors, 'Keep in Touch' is hopeful their event will make a difference. They are not only playing for their fallen friend but for all men grappling with mental health issues, demonstrating that community, conversation, and proactive action can be powerful tools against despair.
Those wishing to contribute to Matt's fundraising efforts can do so through the JustGiving link here. It's a secure platform that ensures your donation goes directly to the charity, making it an efficient way of supporting this worthy cause.
"We're with those hurting today and tomorrow," Matt states finally. A simple sentence that encapsulates the spirit of 'Keep in Touch,' reflecting their commitment to standing by one another through triumphs on the rugby pitch and challenges off it.