03 Feb
  • By Heidi Merrin
  • Cause in

Helping to celebrate the life of a great policeman and rugby coach – Matt Ratana

Looking back over the summer we have worked with some great charities, but one that particularly stood out was a tribute event for police officer Matt Ratana, who was killed in the line of duty when he was shot dead taking a suspect into custody in Croyden Police Station.

A tragic and devasting incident, taking the life of a 54yr old due to retire, who was also a rugby coach and fanatic.  Rugby a sport that is truly at the heart of Impulse Decisions, and we were delighted to offer our online silent auction platform SliderStock to help out at the event.

Originally from New Zealand and aside from his work in the police, Matt worked tirelessly as rugby coach for all ages and mentor to young people. He spoke often to his various teams of the importance of ‘ Whānau’, which in Maori means, your community, your family. He was an inspirational leader, friend and teacher, and the tributes to him on the website below are genuinely inspiring.

Since his death, the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation has been set up, building on the foundations that he put in place, and with a goal of creating transformational change and opportunities for young people and improving life’s experiences through rugby.
https://mattratanarugby.foundation/about-mat

The first event took place at Hazlewood this summer – the home of the London Irish Rugby Club (admin and training centre). Entitled the ‘Whanau Cup’, The MRRF Marauders took on the England Police rugby team, And MRRF Vixens took on the Police Women’s XV.

The day was a celebration, through rugby, of the values so important to Matt: community, inclusivity and inspiration.

We set up the online auction a few days before the event, and continued it running throughout September, to maximise the income raised.  This enabled people who attended on the day to take part, but also people who couldn’t make the event itself and across the country. Prizes range from signed memorabilia, Tour of Williams F1 Factory, to Goodwood Revival Tickets,

Not only was it a successful event for all concerned, but it also helped to get the Foundation rolling with a boost of thousands of pounds in memory of a remarkable man and rugby coach. With classic lines like ‘no one is too big to sweep the sheds’ and referred to as ‘an honest copper who really cared’, we were proud to be able to support such an inspiring event and charity.

Director Will Ferguson stated, “Both myself and our MD James Marsden have strong backgrounds in rugby, so it meant a great deal to us to be able to support this event, for such an amazing man and rugby coach. The atmosphere on the day was brilliant and we took great pride in seeing Matt’s family’s vision for keeping his memory and principles alive and thriving.”

If you would like more details of how we can support your charity, please get in touch on 01423 531682.  https://www.impulsedecisions.com/