Betterwithteammates Ltd are very pleased to introduce our website and online store. This is a soft launch for now because we wanted to be able to offer the Skelly Barbarians Jersey as soon as we were able.
Our first partnership is with the Skelly Barbarians. Never heard of them? Not surprising and there is a story here too.
I, Michael Fealey, the founder of betterwithteammates foundation grew up in London, England. I grew up playing for Beckenham RFC where Paul Skelly was a player, member, coach, at one time the chairman and team captain for several years. Paul, along with Pat Markey (a former Beckenham RFC 1st XV Captain) decided a few years ago, to organize an Old Boys or Alumni game between former players and the current first team. There have been two or three games so far over a period of six or seven years. Not only heavily involved in the rugby side of things Paul was instrumental in the development and expansion of Beckenham Rugby Cyclists. Basically, a cycling club for the rugby club members to become active in the off season, to just exercise in general or as he did, by way of raising money for charity. From a dozen or so members the Beckenham Rugby Cyclists now number somewhere in the 200s, do multiple charity rides per year and raise thousands and thousands of pounds to go towards Ordinary 2 Extraordinary, or O2E, the charity which one of Paul’s teammates and former Beckenham RFC 1st XV Captain Paul Slattery founded to use exercise to raise funds to support the care and treatment of disabled and seriously ill children.
Sadly, Paul Skelly passed away in May, 2016 whilst on a training ride in the UK. Doing what he loved, with people he loved, for a cause that he loved.
If there were such a thing as a Hall of Fame for the club, Paul’s name would top the list of nominees.
The Beckenham Barbarians (BaaBaas) were renamed the Skelly Barbarians in his honor. We also took the Beckenham RFC club badge and modified it to include the sheep image (common for barbarians or baabaa clubs to include in their emblems) as well as green and black to align with an old club away jersey that was Paul’s favorite. Further, we have added some Lyrics from the Parting Glass, an Irish dirge essentially from the dead talking to us the still living. For me, this jersey, is a way to say to Paul that I love you, I miss you and I am sorry that we didn’t talk for so long. I hope for everyone else these jersey’s carry with them a special meaning, a memory that we can wear and keep him close to us.
The profit from the sales of these jerseys will go to charity. The two beneficiaries will be betterwithteammates foundation and O2E. Both organizations support causes that were very near and dear to Paul and I hope we can continue to do the work he so generously supported in his lifetime.
We are called betterwithteammates foundation because ‘life is better with teammates’. A teammate is more than a friend and Paul was one of the best, to an awful lot of people from all walks of life. It didn’t matter who you were, what you did, how well you could play the game. You were simply, on his team.