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Alex Dombrandt's dog walks have him backing the Gallagher Premiership's 'Tackling Tomorrow. Together' initiative

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ashley Western/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Harlequins forward Alex Dombrandt has called on rugby fans to keep supporting local businesses as much as they can to help them through the pandemic that has largely brought England and the rest of the UK to a standstill this winter.


Gallagher insurance brokers, the title partner of Premiership Rugby, have just launched a UK-wide initiative that will see six businesses and one charity partnered with Premiership Rugby clubs over the next twelve months to promote their businesses.

The ‘Tackling Tomorrow. Together’ programme has seen Harlequins and London Irish join forces to support Eco Hydra Technologies who produce NHS-approved hand sanitisers. Living just outside Guildford, England prospect Dombrandt is only too aware of the resilience of local businesses who have had to adapt and innovate to survive these difficult times. 

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Ex-Harlequins winger Chris Ashton gives his first media interview as a Worcester player
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Ex-Harlequins winger Chris Ashton gives his first media interview as a Worcester player

The owner of a five-month-old French bulldog, frequent walks by Dombrandt with his puppy around Guildford, the Surrey town that is home to the Harlequins training base, have helped him realise how tough it has become for local businesses to operate in the lockdown.  

“It has been tough for everyone and it’s important that you keep looking at the positives in this situation,” he told RugbyPass. “Local businesses have been struggling a lot. It’s a lot quieter around the town. I guess in normal times there would be queues outside restaurants and cafes and now there is not as there are only a few people around.

“When you can it is important that you support local businesses. When we go out on our dog walks and stuff, we grab takeaway coffees from local coffee shops to try and give them some business and keep supporting them.”


The impact on businesses also hits home to Dombrandt whenever Harlequins now play behind closed doors at The Stoop. “You’d get 12,000 people heading along and when they are not there it hits businesses in the area quite hard in terms of financial income. It’s important when you can that you support them. You can definitely sense it is a lot quieter and the businesses are struggling from that.”

Six other partnerships have been struck in the ‘Tackling Tomorrow. Together’ programme. Children’s Hospice South West are linked with Bath and Exeter, Made in the Midlands with Worcester and Wasps, Wynsors World of Shoes with Sale, Ensafe with Northampton and Leicester, PECO with Bristol and Gloucester, and Dunes with Newcastle.

Gallagher ambassador Ugo Monye, a 2012 league title winner with Dombrandt’s Harlequins, added: “Covid-19 has impacted all businesses in one way or another, with many struggling or having to switch how they trade to stay afloat in lockdown. 

“It’s brilliant to see Gallagher using its platform as title partner of Premiership Rugby to shine a light on some of the amazing local businesses up and down the country and hopefully help their businesses grow through these direct links with their local Premiership rugby clubs. I’m looking forward to meeting them once spectators return to stadiums and encourage everyone to celebrate the sentiment of this initiative and show your support to local businesses where you can.”


Clifton Melvin, Eco Hydra Technologies chairman, said: “It’s really great to see companies such as Gallagher offering their time and support to smaller companies during this tough period. EcoHydra has been running since 2004 and our hand sanitisers have been rigorously tested and are approved by the NHS

“We are proud to play our part in the fight against Covid-19. Gallagher have been there every step of the way as a trusted adviser when it comes to providing EcoHydra with insurance solutions that have allowed us to adapt as demand for our products has continued to rise.”

Each organisation involved in the initiative will now be given opportunities to promote their business within their local communities to get in front of new audiences and potential customers. This includes in-stadia advertising, digital marketing and tickets to host a business networking event when spectators are allowed back into Premiership stadia.

  • Gallagher’s Tackling Tomorrow. Together campaign utilises its position as title partner of Premiership Rugby to help support local businesses during the pandemic. Find out more here:
Premiership Rugby
Insurance brokers Gallagher have launched a new partnership with Premiership Rugby to help local businesses in the UK


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