ENGLAND RUGBY STARS TURN OUT TO CHAMPION MAAC

Two of the biggest stars from the world of Rugby are the latest high profile names to champion the life saving work of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

Former England Captain and Gloucester Centre/Backs Coach Mike Tindall MBE and former England and Worcester Fly Half Andy Goode have today both been appointed as ambassadors for the Charity.

Both professional Rugby players are the latest high profile sporting ambassadors to support the charity following on from the appointment of London 2012 TEAM GB Equestrian champions Carl Hester MBE, Nick Skelton OBE and Paralympian Lee Pearson OBE all of whom were recently appointed Ambassadors.

Mike Tindall & Andy Goode will support the charity with its national and local fundraising and awareness to the Rugby communities and the wider general public. The charity and its cause is particularly close to both players as the helicopter emergency medical service covers the counties of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire where both players live and play.

Trugby2he Rugby stars were joined today at Strensham Airbase by Jason Levy, Fundraising Director for MAAC, a selection of the Worcester U13s team and the Aircrew.

MAAC responds to around 3000 emergency incidents per year.  Figures collected by the charity show that sporting incidents were in the Top 5 call-outs for the service. Last year alone it responded to 142 sporting incidents, many of which were rugby related. Of the 38,546 incidents responded to since 1991, sporting incidents have accounted for 2,238 call outs. The service responds to an average of 12 sporting relating incidents per month.

Injuries sustained on the Rugby pitch can often be life threatening and serious. Due to the physical nature of the sport, the service often attends to incidents where players have serious head, neck and spinal trauma. These types of serious injuries require the fastest possible medical attention and care. If a patient reaches hospital within 60 minutes of injury, their chances of survival are dramatically increased. The maximum flying time to hospital from anywhere in the five counties that the three Midland’s Air Ambulances serve is less than 15 minutes, meaning the charities rapid response is vital and crucial to saving lives.

MIKE TINDALL MBE, Centre & Backs Coach at Gloucester RFU, is a former England Captain & 2003 World Cup Winner. His illustrious career as a professional rugby player has seen him secure an impressive 75 England caps and 285 club caps for Bath and Gloucester. Commenting on his appointment as an ambassador he said;

“I have always been an advocate of the amazing work of the air ambulance charities and our military search and rescue services of the RAF and Royal Navy. Throughout my rugby career I have all too often been reminded of the potentially life threatening injuries that can occur on the rugby pitch. 

The Midlands Air Ambulance is particularly important for me to support as it serves the county of Gloucestershire where I live and play rugby. It is also vital that we support their life saving work, as it is the only local air ambulance aircraft of its type in the region that can land and airlift from the helipad at the Trauma unit of Gloucester Royal Hospital. It’s vitally important that we help raise awareness of this invaluable emergency service that really makes a difference and helps saves lives.”    

The charity operates three state of the art Eurocopter EC135t2 air ambulance helicopters, which are based at Cosford Air Base, near Shifnal Shropshire (covering Shropshire and the West Midlands), Tatenhill Air Base, near Burton-on- 
Trent Staffordshire (covering Staffordshire and the West Midlands), and Strensham Services on the M5 Worcestershire (covering Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

ANDY GOODE, Fly Half at Worcester Warriors RFU, is a former England Fly Half whose career has seen him secure 17 England caps and an impressive 360 club caps playing for Worcester Warriors, Leicester Tigers, Saracens, French club Brive and the South African Super 15 side The Sharks. Commenting on his appointment as an ambassador he said;

”The Midlands Air Ambulance has a strong connection serving the county of Worcestershire and Worcester Warriors has been a strong supporter of the charity. I am honoured and delighted along with Mike to be able to play a small part in supporting the great work of the Midlands Air Ambulance and to help raise awareness to the general public and the wider rugby community. It’s a service that many of us take for granted, yet it is vital that we all support this amazing service, that saves lives day in day out. “  

Commenting on the ambassador appointments Jason Levy said;

“I am truly delighted to welcome Mike Tindall MBE and Andy Goode as ambassadors of the charity.  Having the support of two professional Rugby players of such repute and standing from Gloucester and Worcester rugby clubs provides us with a real connection between the lifesaving work that we do and the sport of Rugby. It is particularly fitting that our charity serves the communities and people   of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Both Mike and Andy’s support will help us reach out and build awareness within the Rugby communities and the wider general public across the counties”

OPERATIONS STATISTICS:
Missions completed since 1991: 49,869 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts up to three horse riders each week.