Launched in partnership with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club and Premiership Rugby, the URBAN RUGBY SQUAD will engage 1,000 young people from non-traditional rugby communities across England.
On 15th June a ground-breaking new initiative was launched that will see young people aged 14-16 from disadvantaged communities across England given the opportunity to participate in regular sporting activity and personal development workshops that use rugby as inspiration.
In a partnership between Restart Rugby, the official charity of The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, the broadcaster’s initiative that aims to build a better world through sport, and Premiership Rugby, the Urban Rugby Squad will be run across all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs this summer.
The initiative will see club coaches across the country deliver a 12-week recruitment and development programme with four local satellite clubs. The clubs will then come together in August, where an Urban Rugby Squad will be selected to represent each Premiership Rugby side at a National Festival, to be held at the Twickenham Stoop in October.
Formally unveiled at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre in west London, the launch event saw young people and coaches from a number of Premiership clubs come together for a tag rugby and personal development session, where they were joined by former England and Harlequins winger and BT Sport presenter Ugo Monye. During the session, Ugo told the young participants about his own journey into rugby, providing both practical coaching tips and life guidance to those in attendance.
Over the course of the programme, it is estimated that 1000 young people from non-traditional rugby communities across England will be introduced to the game, with practical sessions built around personal workshops that focus on areas including anger management, drugs/alcohol misuse, sexual health and physical fitness assessment.
Damian Hopley, Group CEO of The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), said: “As well as supporting our players who have suffered injury, illness or hardship, this broader community project is a key objective for Restart Rugby and our members who want to see the benefits of rugby impacting more communities across England.
“We are really excited for Urban Rugby Squad to be the first Community based programme for Restart Rugby to be involved with. All the RPA members recognise the positive influence rugby has had on their lives and this programme will make a significant impact for good on the participants. It is great to see the professional players supporting this programme via their own charity.