Press release from 1820 Foundation, a military charity, who SRX have provided funding and support for throughout 2016.
We were deeply saddened to hear news of the passing of British Army soldier Savenaca Koroibulileka during a rugby match on Saturday 24th September. Our thoughts and sincerest condolences go out to all his family and Oakham RFC.
Know to his army mates as 'Koro' or 'Savy', and more recently by his rugby mates as 'Tu', the 38-year-old was playing a first team game for Oakham RFC in the Midlands Intermediate Cup fixture against West Bridgford when he suddenly collapsed, shortly after the start of the second half. Despite the brave efforts of the emergency services on hand, Savenaca was pronounced dead on arrival at Peterborough hospital.
Savenaca served in the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as 'The Poachers' and saw action on operational tours in both Northern Ireland and Iraq. The Fijian soldiers epitomise the reason why we turn to our Commonwealth brothers to join our Armed Forces - they are loyal, strong and brave. Perhaps the most renowned of the Fijian warriors was Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba whose extraordinary bravery during the battle of Mirbat in 1972 led to the SAS recently unveiling a life size statue of the man outside the Sergeant's Mess at their camp in Hereford.
In more recent times, Fijian soldiers fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and collectively received a high number of gallantry medals for selfless acts of courage which most of us could never comprehend. With their love of family and rugby (in that order, but only just!) making military life a perfect fit, we at 1820 Foundation have always had a fond affiliation to our Fijian brothers - back in the early days when our charity was a mere rugby team called 'The Gorillas' which set about raising money for other military charities, we rarely took to the field without our contingent of Fijian players, with their beaming smiles and their unpredictable moves!
As a result of the tragic passing of Tu over the weekend, the 1820 Foundation have taken the decision to dedicate our forthcoming charity 5-a-side tournament on Sunday 2nd October, to the memory of Savenaca. All proceeds from this weekend will be sent directly to his wife Ilivema, and their four sons, thirteen-year-old Ratu, eight-year-old Viliame, seven-year-old Orisi and four-year-old Keleti.
We have also pledged to support the family this Christmas. The festive period is always a tough time for military families, with children often missing their parents who are deployed on active duty, but for these four young children that tough Christmas will be even more difficult knowing their dad won't be coming home. Long term we will offer our support to Savenaca's family, doing everything we can both financially and morally to help for as long as they want us to.
Speaking on behalf of the 1820 Foundation, Arun Malhotra said “The tournament this Sunday was already shaping up to be a great event, but has even more meaning to it now that we are raising funds to help support the family of a great man. We would urge anyone who is in the Newcastle area this Sunday, to pop along and support this event, be it as a player or just a spectator.”
For details of the 1820 Foundation’s football tournament this coming weekend and for details upon how to enter, please visit: http://www.1820foundation.com/blog-1/2016/8/15/5-a-side-football-tournament .
SRX are one of the main tournament sponsors, and we have entered a team comprising of our management and staff. We hope to help the charity raise a decent amount this Sunday, for a great cause.