Leading rugby stars auction one-of-a-kind helmets to tackle ATV safety

International rugby stars Tom Youngs and Will Addison have teamed up with Honda to promote the importance of wearing a helmet when operating ATVs and utility vehicles. Coming from farming backgrounds, both are aware of the dangers presented by a job in agriculture, which is widely considered the most hazardous industry in Great Britain.

Putting their creative talents to the test, both Youngs and Addison designed bespoke ATV helmets, which were brought to life by paint experts Image Design Custom and made possible by Honda, the manufacturer of the world’s first ATV. The helmets will be auctioned between 30th January and 29th March 2020 to raise money for two charities; Yellow Wellies and Headway.

Yellow Wellies, an award-winning charity, is dedicated to supporting the physical and mental well-being of UK farmers and agricultural workers. Headway, meanwhile, works to improve life after brain injury by providing vital support and information services to those affected. Fellow farmer Gareth Wyn Jones and British Superbike star Tom Neave have also designed helmets for the campaign.

Tom Youngs, hooker for Leicester Tigers, commented:

“Farming and rugby are both difficult jobs that present challenges daily. ATVs are commonplace on most farms; however, there are fatalities and life-changing injuries sustained every year that could easily be prevented by wearing a helmet.” Youngs is a fifth-generation farmer and grew up on a farm which has been in the family since the 1920s.

Will Addison, fullback for Ulster Rugby and Ireland, said:

“No fatalities have been recorded in ATV accident cases in the UK when a helmet was worn and we want to make sure that it stays that way – it’s simply not worth the risk! In sport or dangerous activities, protecting our heads from injury is vital.” Will’s family have farmed in Cumbria’s Eden Valley for centuries. Their organic farm includes dairy, beef and sheep enterprises, alongside conservation and tourism.

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, home of Yellow Wellies, said:

“While our farmers are among the best in the world, farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. The Farm Safety Foundation was established to help young farmers challenge and change their attitudes to risk-taking and improve their physical and mental well-being. We are delighted that Honda is helping to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a helmet when operating ATVs.”

Luke Griggs, Director of Communications at Headway, explained:

“Brain injury can impact every area of a person’s life, often stripping away an individual’s independence and basic life skills they once took for granted, impacting everything from walking and talking, to thinking and feeling. It can also devastate the lives of family members and loved ones who may suddenly find themselves as carers or feel powerless to help.

“Research has proved the effectiveness of helmets in protecting the skull and brain from impact, particularly when striking hard surfaces such as rocks. We all think ‘it will never happen to me’, but the reality is an accident can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of the experience or ability of the rider. It is therefore vital that people take heed of the warnings and protect themselves. We urge ATV riders to use their heads and use a helmet.”

Andrew Parr, Sales Operations Department Manager at Honda Motor Europe Ltd, concluded:

“It’s a privilege to work with Yellow Wellies, Headway and our celebrity designers to raise the profile of such an important issue. As the UK’s leading manufacturer of ATVs, we take our commitment to safe and responsible riding incredibly seriously.

“We offer free EASI® training on all purchases of ATV and Pioneer utility vehicles as standard. The EASI courses aim to improve operator skills, safety levels and awareness of the capabilities of Honda’s ATV and Pioneer products. We highly recommend all ATV users take advantage of the training on offer, wear the correct safety equipment, and ensure their vehicles are regularly maintained.”

Enthused farmers and fans who want to get their hands on these unique helmets can join the auction here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/headwaycharity. For more information about the campaign, visit https://www.hondaengineroom.co.uk/power/headstart-atv-safety/. To keep up-to-date with all the latest news on Honda’s power products, visit http://www.honda.co.uk/ATV or follow @HondaUKPower on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.