28 April 2020 / Club News

Paul's Ewes

Name the Ewe Video with Phil Steele

I am sure that for all of us the Coronavirus Pandemic has had a major impact on our normal everyday life. Many will have confronted problems and some will have faced the tragic loss of friends or family members. Our Chairman Paul Amphlett has faced his own unique set of problems, although thankfully not anywhere on the scale of the loss of a family or close contact. Paul’s problems have been threefold.

  • First there was concern for Brecon Rugby Club and its ability to cope with the loss of trade and other income while still incurring fixed expenditure.
  • Second there was his other passion, shepherding. Coronavirus hit as his lambing season was in full flow and he was torn between that commitment and another issue which troubled his conscience.
  • That third issue was that as a retired paramedic, his services were desperately needed by the Welsh Ambulance Service at a time of crisis.

Fortunately, lambing was seen off quickly in some of the best early spring weather on record. That still left the problem of how to reduce the clubs expenditure and generate some income while continuing to look after his flock and re-joining the NHS front line as a paramedic. Thinking outside the box (we always knew there were good reasons why he would make a good chairman!) Paul, provided a partial answer to some of those issues. With Norman (our longstanding volunteer groundsman) following instructions to self-isolate we faced the problem of allowing our ground to become a hay field or buying in groundsmen, expenditure, that in the circumstances, we could ill afford. So the answer, as it often is, was to hand. Paul would pay the Club to grass let the pitches and he would move 73 of his best ewes down to Parc de Pugh to both graze the grass and naturally fertilise the ground.

The third problem was rather more difficult to resolve. Getting back to work on night shifts as a paramedic allowed him to see at first hand the dedication and commitment of NHS staff who are working to save lives while putting themselves at risk, sometimes without adequate personal protection. Confronting this he was motivated to consider ways Brecon RFC could offer support to all of these, dedicated, front line NHS Staff. Paul came up with an idea. His flock had answered one problem and could now provide a solution to another and so without further rambling I will set out Paul’s proposal.

  • His 73 ewes are all numbered and he is looking for individuals to sponsor and name each. He would like the name to be linked with that of someone working within the NHS. He would also like a little background on that individual although that would not be essential. (I have checked with the sheep and they don’t mind if they are given male or female names!) Sponsorship could be any sum above a minimum of £30 per ewe. On receiving the sponsorship, the name of the ewe would be officially recorded with the sheep’s number.
  • Paul then proposes to invite our Club coach and Captain (Andy Powell and Ewan Williams) to try their hand at shearing (while maintaining social distancing from one another, not the sheep) and being filmed for social media purposes.
  • Finally when all sponsorship is in he will donate two ewes:-        

a) one to the winner of a draw using the names of the sheep; and

b) one to the individual who made the largest donation through sponsorship.

The new owners of the sheep can then choose to keep them, (my back garden is a bit small for that,) foster them back to Paul to be looked after, send them to market, or (and it hurts me to say this as it would be hard to do that to my Siân) to have them slaughtered, butchered and prepared for the freezer!

Paul confirms that all of the sponsorship money will be donated to NHS Wales. In addition he proposes that the Health worker, whose name has been adopted by the ewe, will receive a gift from Brecon RFC and the foster parents of the two ewes will be invited to join Brecon RFC as guests at a home match of their choice following the lockdown, whenever that may be.

I think that this is a novel initiative which is appropriate for us in this area and will show that Brecon RFC has a sense of community responsibility. So, in spite of the fact that these are difficult times for us all, let’s get behind the project by using the attached form to sponsor and name a one of the sheep and in so doing support out NHS Staff at a time when we probably need them more than we could ever have imagined.


Download a sponsorship form using the link one of the links below

Sponsorship Form (Word)

Sponsorship Form (PDF)


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