Written by Administrator Saturday, 20 October 2007 07:05
The Brussels Barbarians have the honour of having several Club Patrons from various walks of life in Belgium who support the club and Rugby in Belgium.
Sir Robert Atkins
The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP is a keen follower of the game; he considers it an honour to be able to support the Baabaas as one of the premier teams in Belgium. His son James was a key player for BBRFC during the last decade, before moving to the USA.
Sir Robert has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1999 and prior to that he was a Member of the UK Parliament for 18 years, 10 of which were as a senior Government Minister (including Minister for Sport).
His rugby interests include being Vice President of Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Patron of Garstang RUFC, Member of the Wooden Spoon Society and Sponsor of the Lancashire Schools v Ulster Schools Annual Competition.
For further information please visit his website www.sir-robertatkins.org
Mr. Martin Blackwell
Martin played many seasons for BBRFC during the 70s and 80s; from 1980-83 he as was 1st team captain, and then chairman of the club for several more years.
Mr. Martin Blackwell is now retired, but was a partner with Ernst & Young in Belgium and has been a significant patron for the Brussels Barbarians for a number of years.
Ms. Emma McClarkin MEP
As a keen rugby supporter and touch rugby player I am delighted to become a patron of BBRFC – a “team that demonstrates how rugby can bring people together for fitness and friendship”.
Emma McClarkin MEP was first elected at the European election, 2009 as a Conservative Party MEP making her, at the age of 30, the youngest British MEP.
Emma was brought up in Stroud and attended her local grammar school, Stroud Girls High School. She graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Law and went on to work as a Legal Clerk in a law firm.
Having been a member of the Conservative Party from an early age, after working in the Law she decided it was time to become more involved, and worked for the Party in the East Midlands Region both as Press Officer to the Conservative Party's East Midlands MEPs and as Political Advisor to Roger Helmer MEP in the European Parliament in Brussels.
From 2008 until elected in June 2009 Emma worked for the Rugby Football Union as their Government Relations Executive working with both MPs and MEPs to promote the sport on a local, national and international stage.
Emma is now one of five elected MEPs for the East Midlands region. Since elected Emma has been appointed Conservative Spokesman and Coordinator on the Culture and Education and Sport Committee in the European Parliament, as well as being a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and International Development Committee.
Outside of work Emma’s interests include walking, the countryside and photography. Emma is also a keen sports fan and rugby follower and captained the Parliament’s Touch Rugby team!
For further information please visit her website www.emmamcclarkin.com
Mr. Ed Read Cutting
In September of 2003, Mr. Ed Read Cutting joined the list of stars and celebrities who now call themselves BBRFC Patrons.
Ed initially joined the BBRFC in the late 90's after a short rugby career at a rival Brussels rugby club. While Ed officially still plays rugby, his games are becoming fewer and far between. However, the BBRFC always appreciate it when Ed makes an appearance on the pitch.
Mr. Alastair Sutton
Al played scrum half for BBRFC during the 1970s.
Mr. Alastair Sutton is a member of the English Bar and now practices privately, having previously been a partner of White & Case LLP, concentrating in the law and policy of the European Union, international trade and English public law, including actions before the European and English courts involving EU law. His practice focuses on EU economic and constitutional law (especially involving EU "single market" law, competition and state aids, intellectual property, the free movement of goods, financial services, direct and indirect tax, and monetary law), energy policy (especially nuclear, natural gas and electricity), environmental protection, agriculture, high-technology industries (especially in the entertainment sector), automobiles, food, drink and tobacco, textiles, steel and shipbuilding. As a former EU trade negotiator, GATT/WTO (especially dispute settlement) is also an important part of Mr. Sutton's practice.
Mr. Sutton joins as another significant patron to the Brussels Barbarians Rugby Football Club.
Mr. Freddy Thielemans
Freddy learnt to play rugby with BBRFC during the late 70's & early 80's as a prop, and took part in the Vancouver Tour in 1982.
Mr. Freddy Thielemans is Burgomaster of Brussels – the Mayor of Brussels.
Born in Laeken in 1944, Freddy Thielemans lived there during all his childhood. From this, he developed deep ties to Brussels region and life, a feeling of belonging to a tradition that flows in his veins: fan of the Brussels dialect, the Marollese (from the Marolles quarter), which he spoke with his grandfather, he, anyway, learned its diversity and culture mix through his mother who was born in the "Klein Brabant".
His lifelong theoretical political interest is confronted against the reality he finds when he is offered to work with young socialists. In 1994 he becomes the short-lived Mayor of the Brussels town, an office he got back to in 2000 and which he should keep till 2012.
Freddy Thielemans, being a through and through resident of Brussels, is also a very cheeky chap -they are not made any more like this: it is an aspect of his personality which he does not give up on, and that he even considers complementary to his functions. A means to relax, perhaps? Without any doubt, but not as much as when he goes on a jaunt with his Harley Davidson: "My bike, it is my freedom", he states proudly.