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On July 3rd 2024, Coventry and Warwickshire Champions held their latest breakfast meeting at the home of Coventry Rugby, the Butts Park Arena.

The welcome to participants was delivered by Jon Sharp, Executive Chairman, Coventry Rugby Club and John Edwards, Chair, Coventry Rugby Foundation.


In a landmark year for Coventry Rugby, celebrating its 150th anniversary, Jon Sharp summarised the mission for Coventry Rugby.

As the only professional club in the West Midlands, having achieved a second successive season at third place in the Championship and being the 13th best place club in England, Jon outlined some of the exciting next steps in the club’s strategy.

He highlighted four key transformation areas:

  1. The recently announced rugby academy to develop local talent from around Coventry and Warwickshire and increase numbers participating in local clubs
  2. The further expansion of the club and Foundation’s work in the community to make Coventry Rugby a “force for good” across the city
  3. The redevelopment of Butts Park Arena to increase capacity, develop affordable homes for older persons and provide additional and much-needed community facilities
  4. The commitment to make Coventry Rugby sustainable and financially independent


The growth and success of Coventry Rugby in recent years has been remarkable, as has its commitment to working in the community, hand in glove with Coventry Rugby Foundation, a fully independent charity.

John Edwards, chair of Coventry Rugby Foundation, shared the aim of the Foundation, namely to transform lives in the local community through the power of sport. The Foundation has invested more than £500k over the past five years and has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 people. Its many well-established programmes are testimony to the fact that sport can create positive opportunities, build social cohesion and enhance physical and mental well being.

Coventry Rugby Foundation chair John Edwards addresses the Coventry & Warwickshire Champions meeting


As Coventry Rugby celebrates its 150th anniversary, Coventry Rugby Foundation is appealing to businesses and individuals to support its important work. With business packages from as little as £500 right up to full partner status.

Edwards said that the support of business was vital to help the Foundation to reach and help the large numbers of people who needed a lift in life in these difficult times.

“We want to help people be the best they can be, and we know that sport can play a pivotal role in this – we see practical evidence of this all the time,” he said.

“We want to be able to do more and we need the support of our local businesses to do that and help us leave a lasting legacy for the 150th anniversary of Coventry Rugby.”


Following the welcome by Mr Sharp and Mr Edwards, the meeting was treated to interesting and informative presentations by Chris Allen, Managing Director of LEVC, Lisa Hughes Chief Financial Officer of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Adam Petros, Joint Managing Director of Premier Health Products.

The image at the top of this story shows (l to r):

John Edwards, Chair of Trustees, Coventry Rugby Community Foundation Ltd

Nic Erskine, Executive Director CW Place & Champions

Adam Petros, Joint Managing Director, Premier Health Products

Chris Allen, Managing Director LEVC

Lisa Hughes, Chief Financial Officer, The Royal Shakespeare Company

Jon Sharp, Executive Chairman, Coventry Rugby Club

Les Ratcliffe, Chair of CW Place & Champions and Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands