The RAF Spitfires Rugby 7s Team were recognised this evening for their support of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, winning the award for Best Cause-Related Marketing.
The Spitfires have supported the RAF Benevolent Fund for several years with a donation from the sale of each replica jersey sold.
The shirt is extremely popular and to date has raised in excess of £30,000. According to The Daily Mail it was the 5th best selling sports shirt replica.
Director and team player Squadron Leader Tim Barlow said: "We wanted to have shirts that we could sell and market and raise money for charity at the same time. We chose the RAF Benevolent Fund for the enormous amount of welfare support it provides for the whole RAF."
The team's support for the RAF Benevolent Fund continues off the pitch, as they regularly attend Fund events, donate auction lots, and undertake fundraising challenges.
This year they cycled 517 miles from Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow to Twickenham Stadium in London in the course of a week, raising more than £10,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund and other charities.
Congratulating the team and presenting the award, RAF Benevolent Fund Chairman Lawrie Haynes said: "The Spitfires are champions on and off the pitch and we are so grateful for their continuing support. Just as their players range in rank from Squadron Leader to the most junior Senior Aircraftman, the Benevolent Fund is committed to helping the entire spectrum of the RAF family. Their generous support helps us fulfil our mission."
Squadron Leader Barlow, who accepted the award on behalf of his team, said: "We are delighted to accept this award from the RAF Benevolent Fund. We have supported the Fund for a number of years because we are so appreciative of the support it provides for the entire RAF family; from active duty personnel like our players to the children of servicemen and women and the veterans who served before us."
The Spitfires are the RAF Rugby Union’s most successful team, winning a number of trophies and competing both nationally and internationally in countries including India, Dubai, and The United States.
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing a range of services for serving and former RAF personnel, their partners, and families. This is the second year that the RAF Benevolent Fund has recognised the stand-out contributions made by a few of the dedicated individuals, stations, and corporate partners who support the charity each year.
The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.