Nikki Andrews


On Friday 25 September, Matt Ratana, Head Coach of East Grinstead RFC was tragicaly killed whilst on duty in his role as Custody Sergeant.

Matt was a truly inspiring and much-loved figure. He was incredibly passionate about helping young people lead fulfilling lives and not becomming 'lost'. He cared deeply about our "Whānau" (by which he meant our rugby community, an extended family of people far and wide that care for one another). His medium through which he would engage young lives and build our Whānau was Rugby.


Matt was incredibly generous with his time, energy and emotion in striving for his goals for the Club and community. Matt would even refuse or return his coaching expenses and would also pay his own club membership. He was incredibly successful in his persuit of his goals influencing and inspiring so many lives. He had a brilliant impact on the youth and gave tremendous drive to the senior men’s and women’s sides.

By inspiring others with his usual infectious enthusiasm, Matt had built momentum behind starting three 'strategic initatives' which he passionatly believed were the pillars behind any great long-term rugby community.

In response to this tradgedy, Su Bushby (Matt's partner) his friends, colleagues and club mates have established a not for profit organisation with a Private Fund within The Atlas Foundation a UK Charity (UK Charity No:1161179) to raise funds for near and far rugby community and continue the three great rugby initatives that were close to Matt's heart. Various clubs and schools will be eligible for Matt's projects.

Su's first decision was to name the foundation "The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation".

He will never be forgotten and his rugby legacy will live on with us.

Nikki Andrews