A busy year for Keystone IOM in its support of local community and sports projects as it announces sponsorship of motocross prodigy TJ Teare, helps fund the IOM Scout letterboxing trail and celebrates the award of a professional rugby contract to U18 England Rugby star Bevan Rodd

TJ Teare awarded Sports Sponsorship

Eight year-old TJ was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, meaning he has no fingers or thumb on his right hand. But courageous TJ refuses to let that stop him and since the age of 2 has pursued his dream of being a world class motor cross star.

At just 5 years old he won the Isle of Man Trials Championships and, since then, has never looked back. Having competed in the RL360 cycling events on the Island for the last 3 years, his team in the Manx Youth Tour also came in first.

Perhaps TJ’s most impressive achievement to date is qualifying in the A group at the MX Masters event which places him among the top 40 riders in the UK. This year, he has been invited to compete in the British Premiership Motocross 2017 which consists of 6 rounds in England and will begin training with the Para-Olympics Cycling team in just 2 years’ time.

The ultimate dream for TJ? To be the first one handed man to become Motocross World Champion and the first Manxman to win gold at the Para Olympics.

Moved by TJ’s story, the Keystone IOM team was keen to help him achieve his fund raising goal, and Director, Gillian Christian, made a significant donation to help him with his travel costs and other expenses that he may encounter.

Gillian said:

“We’re so pleased to be able to support TJ in his ambition. He has real talent and his determination to succeed is just extraordinary. Our primary aim at the Keystone IOM Sports Academy is to inspire talented young people from all backgrounds – providing them with the support they need. We look forward to following his journey and watching him succeed on the national and international stage.”

Letterbox Trail Funding

The firm’s Ben Hughes worked as a scout leader with Marown Scouts from 2012 before helping to found the Western & Middle Explorer Group in 2016. With that in mind, this year seemed like the perfect opportunity for Keystone Law IOM to assist with funding the Scouts Association’s Letterbox Challenge, in the form of a secret Keystone trail.

Both rewarding and educational letterboxing originated in Dartmoor in the 19th century and began life as a solitary bottle for the purpose of depositing letters and visiting cards. It was brought to the Isle of Man in 1996 to give Scouts on the island the opportunity to test out their navigation skills. In addition to its use by the Scouts, the updated and revitalised letterboxing trail is becoming increasingly popular with visitors to the island.

Along with a monetary donation to the initiative, the firm encouraged participants to “scout” out four coveted Keystone Law stamps hidden strategically at the most northern, southern, western and eastern points of the trail. These could then be used to create pictorial handstamps in a book as a lasting souvenir.

Ben said of the endeavour:

“The letterbox trail is a great excuse to get kids (and parents!) away from their screens and into some of the Isle of Man’s most beautiful spots. We really are blessed with fantastic countryside and yet it is all too easy to take it for granted. Hopefully, by supporting the trail, we can encourage young and old to get active, head outdoors and enjoy a new experience.”

Keystone IoM Sponsored Player Bevan Rodd Signs Professional

Following the receipt of long term support from the Keystone IoM Sports Academy, front row international rugby player, Bevan Rodd, who played rugby for Buchan School’s ‘Invincibles’ for five years on Island, has been awarded a five year professional rugby contract by Sale Sharks. At only 16 years old this makes him one of the youngest players to be signed by the Aviva Premier League team for over 20 years

In addition to helping Sedbergh 1st XV achieve the runners-up spot in the national Daily Mail Schools 2016 Trophy, Rodd also played in every match of Sale Sharks Aviva Premiership U18 Academy season where they lost in the final to the Harlequins Academy team.

Earlier in the year, became one of the youngest tight head props (at 16 years and 198 days) to represent England U18s during their 31-17 win over Scotland at Preston’s Grasshoppers new 4G pitch on 12 March 2017.

He also played loose head prop during the England U17 team’s loss to France U17 in Gueugnon, France on 22 April 2017 and during April 2016, he played for England U16 team in their loss to Wales U16 in Caerphilly.

Manxman and managing director of Keystone IoM, Geoff Kermeen said:

“We are very proud to have supported Bevan in his journey to becoming a professional rugby player and we hope that he can emulate the achievements of other great sportsmen from the Island.

“We also hope that as we grow we will be able to support other Manx-based sports people to realise their sporting dreams, because we are convinced that the Island’s sports people and their coaches are of the highest quality and they should be encouraged to compete with the best on the international stage.”