AVIVA Premiership Rugby National Schools Programme
The 2012/13 season sees the third year of the new Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, an initiative that will introduce over 36,000 young people to the sport through tag rugby.
The scheme is run by Premiership Rugby and all the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs up and down the country and is expected to involve 600 primary schools with 1,200 teachers also receiving training.
Over 600 sets of equipment and resources will be distributed and 300,000 spectators are expected to watch demonstration events.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is aimed at pupils aged 8-9 years-old with each Premiership Rugby club working at 50 schools.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme involves a six week introduction to rugby:
Week 1-3: Skill development and learning the rules
Week 3-5: Skill development and team skills
Week 6: Festival
The tag rugby festival in week six will be the first taste of competitive rugby for many children and will allow schools that are new to rugby to participate in a fun tag rugby festival with schools of a similar standard.
One school from each Premiership Rugby club region will qualify for the Finals at Twickenham on Aviva Premiership Rugby Final day in May where they will represent the Chiefs.
This term sees schools in Okehampton, Sidmouth, Honiton and Helston benefit from the programme and they will all receive a five-week tag rugby programme preparing them for festivals in their area.
This year staff and parents at each school will also be put through their paces in a teacher education programme running alongside the delivery in their schools, whilst children will also be invited to attend a Transition day at their local club.
Community Coach Mark Lee, who helps head up the programme for the Chiefs, said: “The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme has a strong underlying message that it should leave behind a sustainable legacy, enabling staff at the school to continue a high level of coaching and directing children into local grass roots rugby at a young age.”
Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said, “The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is a fantastic opportunity for children to get to know the sport of rugby, learn new skills and gain in confidence. I would like to thank Aviva for their commitment in helping us to provide this fabulous opportunity to help develop the grassroots of the game in new rugby playing schools.”
Ottery take Honiton title
Over 70 youngsters didn’t let horrendous conditions dampen their spirits as they took part in the latest Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme Tag Festival held at Honiton Rugby Club.
School children from Payhembury, West Hill, Kilmington, Offwell, Colyton, Orchard Bishop and Ottery St Mary – all of whom have taken part in the five-week programme delivered by the Exeter Chiefs Community department – braved incessant rain and a biting wind to take part in the festival.
Despite testing conditions underfoot, the children were still able to show off their rugby skills in the mud during a series of competitive fixtures.
In the end, it was Ottery St Mary who emerged triumphant as they overcame fellow finalists West Hill.
Now Ottery, along with South Tawton, will await to see which other two schools join them for Finals Day here at Sandy Park on Saturday, April 13. Ahead of our Premiership clash with London Irish, the four qualifying schools will battle it out to see who wins themselves a place to represent the Chiefs at the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday, May 25.
Chiefs’ Community Manager, Marc Dibble, said: “Firstly, we have to congratulate all of the children who took part in the Honiton Festival on such a horrible day. Despite the horrendous conditions, all of them seemed to enjoy themselves and the tag rugby on show was of a very high quality.
“Well done to all the children, teachers and helpers for all their support on the day, but extra praise must go to Ottery St Mary School for emerging victorious in such tough conditions.”