Barnes RFC’s Under 12 player, Zac Wood, has been doing an amazing job of raising money for charity throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

When Atlas chatted to Zac this week, he explained how for some time he had been keen to set up his own business, brand and also do something good for the community.

It didn't take long for this young entrepreneur to think of an idea that was going to make a real difference. 

"It was shortly after my 11th birthday in the first lockdown that I thought of the idea of designing my own T-shirts which I could then sell to raise money for charity."

With the help of his mum, Abby, Zac started designing, creating and selling t-shirts under his own brand, 'Zace'. 

In the first lockdown, he raised £250, which he donated to the OSO Centre in Barnes and their Crisis Kitchen - which produced over 1,000 hot meals a week for local people who were struggling.

In the November lockdown, Zac decided he wanted to do another, even bigger, t-shirt campaign. This time for players at Barnes RFC.

Zac chose to use his "Be Brave" slogan again for club members from U5 through to adults, and the “Play Hard or Go Home” for the elite squads, which were kindly donated by Barnes RFC Chairman Michael Whitfield.

"I wanted the T-shirts to be bold and have a positive message on them. The news of the lockdown was hard and I wanted to do my bit to spread a bit of positivity, however I could."

As an avid rugby player, Zac decided that the money he raised this time had to go towards a rugby based charity.

We were then delighted to learn that Zac had asked if this time the money he raised could be donated to the Atlas Foundation.

"When I heard and then saw the work that Atlas does I was amazed. There was no question that this was the charity I wanted to support. I love rugby and have really missed playing every weekend with friends because of the lockdowns this year. I can appreciate how rugby initiatives can make such a difference to a person's life, and I wanted to let kids everywhere have the opportunity to love rugby like I do."

When we asked Zac about how his friends had responded to this he said:

"They've all been massively supportive. All my team mates from Barnes, both girls and boys, have got their t-shirt's now which is great."

It's true, most of Barnes RFC have their Zace tops and are wearing them with pride.

Check out Atlas Trustee and Barnes Chairman, Michael 'Rhino' Whitfield, rocking his Zace 'Be Brave' t-shirt. 

TOTAL RAISED: £1,100.00

You can follow Zace on Instagram, @zace.2020 to get the latest on all Zac's latest T-shirts. Alternatively you can email [email protected]

We have got a good feeling this isn't the last time you'll see Zac...

Congratulations and THANK YOU from everyone here at Atlas Foundation. 

By Antonia Liley

Marketing and Communications Officer