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25 Aug 2017
OC Careers
Simon Pennock and Mark Covington (East, 2004)
Simon Pennock and Mark Covington (East, 2004)
Simon Pennock, an IT entrepreneur, who has invested in two rugby based businesses, Lions Sports Academy and SNAP Sponsorship, is coming to the Rescue of the England Women’s Red Roses.

Following the Women’s World Cup Final on Saturday it is anticipated that several of the England Squad will be made redundant due to the RFU deciding to concentrate on Sevens next season and not renew the 15s squad’s contracts.

Pennock’s solution is to offer every woman who is without a job a three-month contract on the same financial terms as the one they had with the RFU, and expects to offer them full time work at SNAP Sponsorship or Lions Sports Academy.

Lions, based in Teddington, gives all young people access to best practice rugby coaching, strength & conditioning and nutritional advice to help them build confidence and achieve their potential in their chosen sport and career path. This offers the England player’s a great workplace to apply their skills, and allows their expertise to raise awareness of the positive impacts to young people of the correct strength & conditioning and nutrition. Those players more interested in the strategic and commercial part of sport have the opportunity to work with Pennock’s Guildford based company, SNAP Sponsorship, who can offer them something slightly different.

SNAP is a leading sponsorship agency, and their lifeblood is securing the viability of grassroots rugby in the UK by helping every club become, or remain, commercially sustainable. Helping clubs identify, maximise and manage their sponsorship assets, so that future stars can emerge.

Both are fast-growing start-ups who can help interested players understand the art and science of building a successful business.

“I love rugby and want to help these women, as well as create a revolution within the grassroots game so that future stars can emerge – These players are perfect role models for youngsters in the game.”
Simon Pennock was a player at Richmond Rugby Club when the club hosted the first Women’s International in 1985 and launched the second ever English Women’s team in 1986.

Simon Pennock said “Every woman who has the determination and skill to play rugby for their country can also be a beacon to inspire grassroots clubs. To help develop the next generation of players and stars and inspire young people to get fitter, gain confidence and perform better in the classroom and on the sports field”.

Simon & Mark Covington (SNAP CEO) have already met with several impacted players, following their Semi final win in Ireland and will be meeting with them again after Saturday’s clash with New Zealand. Other interested players are expected to meet with Simon and the two companies after the World Cup.

We understand the RFU have an end-to-end strategy for Women’s rugby and are working with the squad to help with their future careers and we are keen to help. This offer that gives them a stop-gap during which they can make a valuable contribution to grassroots rugby and young people while also having time and resources to plan their own next steps.

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