Another successful year for Project Rugby
By Flo Eggins
The Exeter Chiefs Community team are hailing another successful delivery of the Project Rugby programme, with over 1,200 pupils taking part since September and 400 of those choosing to take part in extra after-school clubs or joining their local team.
Project Rugby is run by Premiership Rugby in partnership with England Rugby and Gallagher and aims to increase participation in rugby from traditionally underrepresented groups including people from low socio-economic backgrounds, disabled people and black, Asian and other ethnic minorities.
This academic year, the team have been working at Honiton College, Teign School, Ilfracombe Academy, Braunton Academy, Uffculme School, Cranbrook School and Plympton Academy. By working with these schools and rugby clubs across the region, pupils who have taken part in the Project Rugby sessions have gone on to join Ilfracombe Sharks, Honiton, Exeter Athletic, OPM Rugby, Newton Abbot and Cullompton.
As well as playing at local clubs, some participants of the project have also taken up coaching roles to help develop younger players.
Talking about the positive impact of the programme, Community Development Coach Tom Steer said: “The knowledge and improvement of the students throughout this 12-week journey never fails to surprise me.
“It’s amazing how far they have come, and even better seeing them transition into a club where they have slotted straight in and are still improving weekly. We look forward to seeing lots of familiar faces playing in the future.”
Another highlight of this year’s programme was a girls-only day at Sandy Park, run alongside Premiership Rugby sponsors Gallagher UK. The girls were coached by the Community team, as well as Exeter Chiefs Women’s Assistant Coach Amy Garnett. The event was a great example of the improvements made over the programme and showed the hard work the students have been putting in.
For more information about Project Rugby, please contact Richard Bright firstname.lastname@example.org