The Atlas Foundation | News & Contacts
The Atlas Foundation is a charity founded by Jason Leonard and other rugby and corporate heavyweights to raise people out of disadvantage around the world.
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News & Contacts

The lunch was hosted by Ambassador R. Carlos Sersale di Cerisano. Rugby legends; Maro Itoje, Alistair Hargreaves and Juan Figallo attended in their capacity as Atlas Foundation Rugby Champions. Rugby Champion Les Cusworth is our project manager in Argentina and has settled in Buenos Aires after an illustrious rugby career in England and Argentina.

We are expanding our work in Argentina and therefore would appreciate any support from those with personal or professional interests in the country. Please Contact Us


Thanks to the incredible generosity of Atlas sponsor Alex Murphy, Jason Leonard and Sally Pettipher were able to visit Delhi to plan the extension of our schools work across India.

We met with the Delhi Hurricanes; Jungle Crows; the British High Commissioner, Sir Dominic Asquith; Indian Minister, Meenakashi Lekhi; and with Indian Angel Network leader, Vikas Kuthiala. Thanks to all involved for supporting the future development of Atlas work in India.

See amateur photos on the Atlas Flikr Album here

And professional photos from acclaimed photographer Shantanu Biswas on the Delhi Hurricanes FB page here

Rugby and Cricket superstars joined forces with 100 special guests for the 2018 Atlas Golf Day on Friday 29th June at Kingswood Golf Club in Surrey

The sun shone and shone and shone – just like the golf.

We have raised over £15,000 from the event and made some great new friends. Thank you all, and we look forward to seeing you next year.

2019 Early Bird package – email Neil on:

See photos on the Flikr Album here

England Rugby players visited Atlas projects in Cape Town the day before the final test match.

They helped with drills and a touch tournament before taking to the Braai and cooking for the kids.

We were honoured that the High Commissioner, Nigel Casey and British Consul, Ed Roman joined the teams (Ed scored a try). The RFU and High Commission generously donated tops, socks and balls alongside the boots that Atlas has provided

See photos on the Flikr Album here

Atlas Chairman Jason Leonard, Trustee Lord Addington and Rugby Champion Peter Rogers, welcomed representatives from Wales to the House of Lords on Monday June 11th 2018.

A particularly special guest was Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Member of Parliament for Gower, and former Wales international Prop. Together we look forward to increasing or work with and for the Welsh rugby community.

See photos on the gallery page here

Jason Leonard, Rob Henderson and Peter Rogers made it a triple-crown representing England, Ireland and Wales at this years Tour of Cambridgeshire.

We were visited by cycling royalty in the shape of the Varnish family – thanks to you and all the Atlas riders for turning out and supporting.

We were also delighted to welcome four rugby coaches from the Jungle Crows whose work with slum kids in Calcutta is changing lives.

See photos and videos of the Atlas Peloton in the 2018 Tour of Cambridgeshire on the gallery page here

In January Jason and Judgie visited Atlas funded projects in and around Cape Town.

See films of them working with the kids from the Masi Rugby Club here

In December Atlas CEO Sally Pettipher visited the Khelo Rugby programme in Kolkata and in rural North Bengal.

On 24th October Atlas All Schools Chairman, Neil Blair, visited the launch of our programme with Eritrean refugee children in Israel. One of nine schools setting off with rugby this year in order to help with peace-making across divided communities, and improving behaviour and academic attainment in school. All through the power of rugby.

Thanks to Rugby Israel for delivering the programme, Amir Tito for hosting, and Neil and Louis Blair for the photos and reports.

More news in the tabs below

Trustees of The Atlas Foundation were invited to visit an important project based at Virreyes RFC in the slums of Bueno Aires, Argentina.

The rugby organisation was founded in 2002, with a focus on major social integration and based on the importance of education for everyone. The community, in which the club is founded, is underprivileged who do not have the means to provide quality academic support to the children.

The club support the local children with education, rugby and encouragement which they would not otherwise be able to obtain. The kids acknowledge the benefits that the club has had on their lives and, as in the words of the club co-founder Marcos, Rugby is “a true sport that can catapult them to live a better and more fulfilling life”.


Sixty-five riders joined a multinational set of rugby stars including Jason Leonard, Peter Rogers, François Mounier and JP Doyle representing four of rugby’s big six northern hemisphere nations at the annual Tour of Cambridgeshire.

Success is measured for most in getting round the 60 or 80 mile route and having fun on the way. People line the route and ATLAS riders were high-fiving the kids the whole way round.

The day before a brave team of four took on the inaugural team time trial and with no practice or experience of team riding, creditably didn’t come last.

So many thanks to say, to the riders, their sponsors, and the supporters and sponsors of the Atlas team and whole event. We will thank you all individually but would like everyone to know how much we value their contributions. Through the ride we will raise over £15k for the school we are building in conjunction with Philippe Sella’s charity in the Ivory Coast.

📸 View photos in the event Dropbox folder

Finish line

 A deliberately intimate event at a beautiful course with a sprinkling of rugby legends: players, officials and commentators. Run for the second time on Friday 19th May 2017 raising nearly £20k for ATLAS

Thanks as ever to Ian Robertson for his bottomless sack of anecdotes, JP Doyle for making Jason’s team look good, Jason for his warm welcome to us all, and to Philippe St Andre for calling in and adding some gallic charm.

Hosted by Kingswood Golf and Country Club, near Tadworth, Surrey, the course is a stunning venue and the team there efficient and hospitable.  Thanks to everyone who took four balls, especially our sponsors. Lots of photos in the Gallery (link below). If you’d like high res images, get in touch.

📸 For photos see the GALLERY

JP Doyle nearest the pin

Members of Maidenhead RFC organised a charity touch rugby tournament last month on behalf of The Atlas Foundation and Little Fishes Pre-school that turned out to be a great success.

Sixteen teams- totaling over 150 participants, mostly non-rugby players – took part in the event which raised a fantastic £833 for the respective charities.

The event consisted of three separate divisions and a huge congratulations are in order for the winners; Super Division 1- Maidenhead RFC Mohawks, Social Division 2- Berkshire RFC Unicorns, Social Division 3- Cox Green School.

Sally Pettipher, Chief Executive of The Atlas Foundation said: “I was delighted to be present at such a fantastic event that encouraged participants of rugby and those of a none-rugby background. There was a real buzz surrounding the event and we look forward to seeing how an event like this can be developed going forward.”

Well done to all of the participants and the organisers at Maidenhead RFC!


At the invitation of the McGreevy family, ATLAS Foundation Chairman, Jason Leonard and CEO, Sally Pettipher, attended the launch of the Kings Rugby Development Academy in April 2017.

This project works exclusively with children from the Kibera Slum, the largest slum in Africa, giving them hope for a future beyond their current existence.

We were delighted to be able to make contact with the British High Commission and the Kenya Rugby Union to help raise the profile of this wonderful project that kits out, trains and feeds over 200 boys and girls every week.

The success of the KRDA is targeted to grow with 10 centres planned in the next 3 years.

For more info visit the KRDA website

See the photo-log of our visit HERE

“Working with Jason can get messy”

Sally Pettipher, Atlas CEO, in conversation with the Rugby Business Network

click image below for link

April 4th 2017

Congratulations to the seven intrepid explorers who conquered some huge obstacles to reach their summit goals in Iceland.

Between them they will nearly top out £100,000 in fundraising too, allowing us (after costs) to honour or pledge to Philippe Sella and the children of the Biafra shanty town in the Ivory Coast, to build a new school and sports pitch there.

“Front Rowers aren’t built to climb ice walls but we made it. Rhys was holding the rope, all 10 stone of him. Think we would have catapulted him into the air if we’d fallen off” said Jason, grinning in his hard hat.

Upminster Rugby Club have made an invaluable kit donation that will go towards the Atlas funded project in Nyumbani Village, Kenya.

100kg of rugby kit is currently en route to the village which offers education, support and shelter to 1000 children orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV and aids.

Brad Stone, from Upminster Rugby Club, said: “The club had discussed what to do with the kit and some time ago and decided to try to find a home where it would be best utilised for the benefit of those receiving the kit. The Atlas Foundation was exactly the sort of use the club had in mind for the kit to help less privileged boys and girls to be able to enjoy and experience the game of rugby.”

Nyumbani Village has recently established a boy’s rugby team but does not have any provision to support girls who want to play. Whilst the boys are coached a vast number of girls look on in interest, keen to get involved but not sure how and such donation will help support this three year project, championed by Maggie Alphonsi.

The Atlas Foundation would sincerely like to thank Upminster Rugby Club for their generosity to the Nyumbani project.


Yesterday Atlas CEO Sally Pettipher, with friends and family, ran a pop-up café at British Rowing HQ which borders the Thames near Hammersmith Bridge. Raising money for Atlas projects in Kolkata. A team of six rugby players and rowers sold 400 cakes and biscuits, 6 litres of pink lemonade and many cups of tea and coffee. All cakes were home-made and donated so that all money goes to our work. With everything at £1 the London joggers, cyclists, rowers and rugby players were more than happy to tuck in. We even had a visit from Olympic rowing legend Matthew Pinsent. We raised over £500 and made lots of friends for Atlas. Anyone else wishing to support can make a donation here:


Last chance to enter…

Join international rugby stars such as  Gavin Hastings, Jason Leonard, Waisele Serevi and Troy Coker and more for a round of golf

LAS VEGAS – Elite rugby action crosses over into the golf world during the 2017 USA Sevens Charity Golf Classic Scrumble, located at the Las Vegas Country Club on Friday, March 3 beginning with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Golf and rugby enthusiasts can now register for the exclusive chance to play 18 holes of golf with international rugby legends to benefit ATLAS and US rugby charities.

Registration for sponsorship opportunities at the golf scrumble ends Friday, Feb. 24th and registration for players ends Tuesday, Feb. 28th INFO AND BOOKING HERE


  Our ongoing relationship with MSG Tours Ltd has further strengthened in the last few months. Selected to be one of their chosen charities, we are delighted by the work completed on our newly refurbished website.
Daya Dhadli, the summer marketing intern at MSG took on the role of giving the Atlas Foundation website an update. Straight into the job, and with guidance from company CEO Sally Pettipher, Miss Dhadli used her initiative and creativity to add a new dimension to the site. 
Daya comments: “With some amazing content, photos and charity work done by the Atlas Foundation, I felt that the website needed to be easier to navigate in order to showcase all the brilliant things that this organisation has to offer. Having little experience in the ‘webpage world’, I learned on the job with plenty of assistance from Sally. I hope to keep in touch and am very thankful of the skills I have developed during this project.’
Studying Economics at Aston University, Daya will continue her education as of 18th September 2017.

Monday 23rd January, 2017

Chairman, Jason Leonard and Trustee, Lord Addington, welcomed over 100 representative from rugby clubs across London and the Home Counties and from the Rugby Business Network to a reception at the House of Lords. 

They were joined by other Rugby Champions to learn about the support available through the Atlas Foundation for clubs and individuals. A summary of Jason’s speech is here, general information about Atlas here, and the event photo gallery link here.


Monday 19th December, 2016

Listen again to Sabena Moylan’s interview on Limerick Live. Re-live the first ATLAS Ireland event from the previous weekend, and how the funds are put to work to benefit children.

Link here

Monday 12th December, 2016

Limerick, the heart of rugby in Ireland, gave a rousing welcome to Jason Leonard, Shane Byrne and Peter Clohessy last night. A Q & A session in Flannery’s Bar on Denmark Street was the formal launch of ATLAS in Ireland and an important first fundraiser for ATLAS. Immaculately MC’d by Munster referee Sabena Moylan, many of the funniest stories involved match officials. 


Thursday 24th November, 2016

Jason Leonard was guest of honour at Philippe Sella’s annual dinner on behalf of his charity Les Enfants de L’Ovale. Keen followers of ATLAS will know that we have supported “EDO” with a grant to help their teacher and coach training. These teachers are based across Africa and EDO improves their academic and sports coaching, thereby reaching thousands of children in some of the poorest parts of the world.

ATLAS was pleased to present for auction an England shirt signed by our Trustees: Jason, Jeff and the Judge Paul Rendall, totalling 189 caps between them. This helped by raising €1,000 and contributed to a record fundraising evening, up €10,000 on the year before.

Along with a stunning venue in the Grand Hotel at L’Opèra in Paris, a meal by a two-star Michelin chef, and a host of musical and artistic performances, it was an evening to remember.

Jason and Philippe, ATLAS and EDO, are proud to demonstrate such amitié between two famously competitive sporting nations, together giving new opportunities and advantages to children across Africa.


Wednesday 23rd November, 2016

A brilliant evening hosted by the Rugby Business Network in Paris, at Le Rugby Club on Boulevard Haussmann. Jason Leonard was joined by former rugby superstar Nicolas Mounier (Racing Metro, Cardiff, etc..) now a successful entrepreneur, and by Vendée Globe skipper Nicolas Boidevezi. All were interviewed by Oxford Rugby Blue and now Eurosport presenter Jerome Riondet, and all shared the importance of the values of sport, particularly those of rugby, with a packed house of rugby business people and other former players. It was a special pleasure for Jason to catch up with Laurent Benezech, fellow prop and team mate at Harlequins.

In the words of the skipper “C’était un grand plaisir de partager sur nos valeurs et visions communes, dans un but permanent d’effacer les frontières et de nous enrichir de la diversité.


Friends Updates

Click on the snapshots below for full updates

Friends Update June 2016
Friends Update Oct 2016
Friends update Jan 2017
Friends Update, July 2017

Contact ATLAS

Do please get in touch via the email link here

Correspondence Address: Court House, Linton, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7RY

Registered office: Chargrove House, Shurdington Road, Cheltenham, GL51 4GA

ATLAS Privacy Policy

Data relating to individuals held by The Atlas Foundation is stored on secure cloud servers, password protected and only accessed by a limited number of people who need it for their work, and is never disclosed to unauthorised people, either within Atlas or externally. For our full privacy statement click HERE

Do please get in touch via the email link here

ATLAS Public Information

The Atlas Foundation is a UK Registered charity regulated by the Charity Commission.

All our Annual Reports and Accounts can be downloaded for free from the Charity Commission website. For other information please emailing your request to the CEO Sally Pettipher, email link above.