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Tommy Gentleman Kicks Off 2-Year Fundraising Mission with Rugby World Record Attempt to Support Jamie G Sporting Trust

Local businessman and philanthropist Tommy Gentleman is preparing for a remarkable challenge: breaking the Guinness World Record for the most successful rugby conversions in 60 seconds. This ambitious attempt, set to take place on May 25th, marks the beginning of a two-year plan centred around fundraising and setting new personal and community goals.

Tommy’s inspiration for this endeavour ignited back in June of last year. Reflecting on that pivotal moment, he shared, “Back in June last year, I woke up after an amazing night at the Jamie G Gala Ball and decided it’s about time I got back into the swing of fundraising and setting challenges.”

Tommy’s connection to the cause is deeply personal. “It has been 15 years since my younger brother Jamie passed away suddenly from an undetected heart condition. And it has been 15 years since we set up the Jamie G Sporting Trust in his name,” he shared. Despite the passage of time, the motivation to honour his brother’s memory through the trust remains strong. “It has also been a whopping eight years since I last put myself in a pressure position to actively raise funds, mainly due to raising children and having no time or energy! but they are a little older now and it’s time to get stuck in.”

The catalyst for his current mission came after the 2023 Jamie G Sporting Trust Gala Ball. “After the amazing evening that we had together at the 2023 Jamie G Sporting Trust Gala Ball, I was inspired to get to work the very next day on a two-year plan to challenge myself and raise money. I saw this Guinness World Record and it was the ideal start place for me to get the ball rolling,” he explained.

The application process for the record attempt was lengthy and demanding, taking seven months to be approved and presenting more of a challenge than initially anticipated. “It took seven months for the application to come through as accepted, and the criteria soon proved to be more of a challenge than I first thought! But that’s the whole point, right?” Tommy remarked.

With the date now set, Tommy is ready to take on the challenge. “So here we are. I have been practising and I know that if everything comes together on the day, I will achieve this. But I am counting on your support. Not just for me kicking these balls, but as a charity. We still have a lot of work to do to help young people take part in and be inspired by sport. Your donation helps to make that happen.”

Through this challenge, Tommy hopes to inspire and mobilise the community to support youth sports, particularly through the Jamie G Sporting Trust. “Jamie would not want us (especially me!) to slack off. We live with purpose and we make a difference. Together. Thank you.”

Community members can support Tommy’s record attempt in several ways. “Chuck in a couple of quid. Whatever you can give. Come down on the day and buy a coffee/cake/beer from the club bar. Cheer me on,” he suggested. Additionally, there are corporate sponsorship opportunities available for those interested in contributing more significantly. Gentleman noted, “We have already confirmed a ball sponsor, but there are a couple of other sponsorship opportunities for anyone interested in creating something cool.”

The fundraising page for the Guinness World Record attempt is now live, and Gentleman invites everyone to contribute whatever they can. “There are so many places and causes that you can choose to give your spare change to. But if you value the work we do at The Jamie G Sporting Trust – and can give a couple of quid, I will be hugely grateful, as will the rest of the committee and the clubs, organisations, and individuals that we help (all under 18) will too,” he said.

The criteria for the record attempt are stringent. “The record currently stands at 12. I have a support team helping me and an official criteria set by GWR. There are three positions that I have to alternate my kicks from. Plenty of sprinting in between. I am allowed to have as many attempts as I like. I mean WHEN I get 13 or more, it’s done!

As Tommy Gentleman prepares for his record-breaking attempt, he remains optimistic and determined, ready to give it his best shot. The community’s support will be crucial in helping him achieve this goal and in furthering the mission of the Jamie G Sporting Trust. “Ultimately, whatever time, energy, money you can share and give is very welcome. Thank you in advance. Let’s do this,” he added enthusiastically.

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