Businessman Rob lends his support to rugby club

Torbay Weekly

Football-mad businessman Rob Burkitt has temporarily switched his allegiance to support a rugby club.

The 34 year old, who is on the board of Torquay United Supporters’ Trust, has signed up to have his oven cleaning service Ovenu Newton Abbot featured on a pitchside board at Newton Abbot RFC.

He said: “I’m well known for my fervent support of my two football teams, Torquay United and West Bromwich Albion, which are an incredibly important part of my life.

“However, I follow a number of sports and wanted to contribute to the fantastic work Newton Abbot RFC plays in encouraging participation in grassroots rugby.

“This is a club that has a number of junior sides and I think it’s essential for youngsters to develop a passion for sport, and in doing so improve their confidence and fitness.

“Like Torquay United, this club fulfils a hugely important social role and allows both players and supporters to feel part of a cohesive community.”

Rob, who lives in Torquay, began his business last September, after spending 18 years as a domestic appliance engineer travelling across the South West.

He said: “Despite starting the business from scratch during the pandemic, I’ve built up a loyal set of clients and have a healthy order book, which gives me the ability to give something back.”

Jess Veacock, Newton Abbot RFC’s commercial manager, said: “We are a community club and rely on fundraising events and the generosity of local businesses to bring on the next rugby generation.

“The pandemic has brought huge disruption to the club, but we know we can count on some fantastic support as we look forward to the future.”

Rob previously raised £300 for the Homeless in Teignbridge Support foodbank, after pledging to donate ten per cent of November’s takings.

He also donated £100 to the local Rec Trust, which provided free school dinners to struggling families during school holidays.

He added: “I chose to run my own business so that I could take control of my life and see more of my family. However, it has also allowed me to use some of my income to support some great community causes.”

Ovenu Newton Abbot, which also covers Teignmouth, Dawlish, Ashburton. Bovey Tracey, Chagford and Moretonhampstead, continues to accept bookings at its discretion, with the strict stipulation that both parties observe the two-metre social distancing rule, along with guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness.