HART Innovations and Hart Biologicals have both given their support to a team of Hartlepool rugby players heading to the Far East later this year.

A team of Hartlepool players, made up from several of the town’s clubs, will be taking part in the prestigious Bangkok 7’s on the 12 and 13 of November.

As part of the trip the players will also be going into some of Bangkok’s poorer districts to work with under privileged children and young adults to coach rugby.

Alby Pattison, Managing Director at Hart Biologicals, has previously attended the tournament. He said: “It is an incredible tournament, both the men’s and women’s tournaments are hotly contested, there’s some excellent rugby on show.

“While we were there we met the Cambodian women’s team which was very humbling. They had all been plucked from picking rubbish off dumps as kids and given rugby coaching, it was amazing to see how sport made a difference to their lives.”

After spotting the girls collecting up all of the left-over food to take home, Alby organised a whip-round to help give them some money to return home with. For which they were extremely grateful.

He said: “They were such a nice bunch. They used to make purses and wallets from old rugby balls and presented me and my wife Lynne with one as a thank you gift.

“We are looking forward to meeting up with them and everyone else this year and I am absolutely delighted that we are bringing a team from Hartlepool with us this year.”

As part of the fund-raising mission to get the 14 players, coaches and managers to Bangkok and help with their coaching mission, team leader John Bickerstaff has been working with local businesses to offer sponsorship packages and on Saturday the team will be heading to Middleton Grange for some fund-raising fun.