Woodbridge: Rugby club sets up charity links to conflict zones

The Exiles rugby club are hoping to make a difference to the lives of people who have lost relatives

The Exiles rugby club are hoping to make a difference to the lives of people who have lost relatives in conflict zones. Photo by Jack Fawthrop. - Credit: Jack Fawthrop

A rugby club is hoping to make a real difference to the lives of people who have lost relatives in conflict zones.

The Exiles rugby club are hoping to make a difference to the lives of people who have lost relatives

The Exiles rugby club are hoping to make a difference to the lives of people who have lost relatives in conflict zones. Photo by Jack Fawthrop. - Credit: Jack Fawthrop

The Exiles were formed by father and son players Ernie and Peter Pallett in memory of Dick Waterson, a Woodbridge Rugby Club stalwart who died in October 2012 following a battle with cancer.

Now in their second season, they recently played a friendly match with Woodbridge’s second team, The Saxons, to mark the launch of a new charity aimed at providing relief from poverty for families in war torn areas.

Exiles Charity Ltd’s first project is to work with young men and women from the Kandahar region of Afghanistan who lost relatives supporting the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Ernie Pallett, who worked for a western logistic company in Afghanistan, said: “Many hundreds of truck drivers and private security guards, all Afghans, were killed or badly injured transporting fuel and food to the ISAF troops. These causalities were seldom reported in the western press and there is no social security system there to help the families.”


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The charity is hoping to help start a rugby club in Kandahar and aims to arrange a match there next year.

Jalal Agha, a businessman from Kandahar who runs a logistics and security company, is supporting the charity and working with The Exiles to start the local club.

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Mr Pallett said: “We want to show people the huge daily difference between your average young man here in East Anglia and in Kandahar, with the Afghans are expected to support younger siblings and older family members with little opportunity to continue in education.”

The Exiles, who play at Woodbridge Rugby Club and range in age from 18 to their mid 50s, are talking to production companies to potentially film the project, and hope the ensuing publicity will allow them to raise funds to make a real difference.

Mr Pallett said: “We intend, through our connections, to start an Exiles team from the Kandahar region, using the efforts to recruit and train the team as a way of raising the profile of the charity and the cause, especially among the rugby playing fraternity in the west.

“Our main intentions are to raise awareness of the ‘forgotten casualties’ and, of course, money to support those families impacted.”

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