Premiership Rugby Community Weekend

The Future Look Bright for Archie Thanks to Project Rugby

Archie, a student at Tiverton High School, lacked focus and struggled to engage with education. After his PE teacher recommended he try Exeter Chiefs’ Project Rugby sessions Archie found a love for the game he never knew existed.

Lacking motivation to attend lessons and any aspiration to gain qualifications, Archie was often absent from school leading to a decline in his grades and periods of exclusion. Not wanting to give up on his student, Mr Morrell, his PE teacher, suggested Archie join the Project Rugby sessions reassuring him he would find them fun. Archie not only experienced enjoyment during the delivery of Project Rugby sessions but loved the sport so much he signed up to play for his school team and local grassroots club Tiverton RFC.

By providing a new focus, rugby impacted Archie’s engagement with school life improving relationships with peers and teachers. He is now motivated to attend which has dramatically improved his chances of gaining qualifications.

Archie is now a committed team player at school and experiences a thriving social life at his local rugby club. New friends have welcomed him making him feel comfortable and giving him a sense of belonging. The knock-on effect is improved interactions and contributions at home creating a happier, healthier environment for the whole family. Archie now harbours ambitions to take his love for rugby to elite level, with aspirations to play in the Premiership for Exeter Chiefs.

Archie is just one inspirational individual being celebrated during Community Weekend Round 14 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby (29th – 31st March). Over the weekend, all games will be dedicated to the award-winning community programmes run by Premiership Rugby in collaboration with its shareholder Clubs and Club Foundations. The weekend celebrates how the rugby community is one big family – giving support, instilling confidence, improving mental wellbeing and providing a sense of belonging. Archie’s story showcases how rugby can change lives.

Project Rugby is delivered in partnership with Gallagher, title sponsor of Premiership Rugby, and the RFU and is designed to introduce as many people as possible to the benefits of rugby. With a specific focus on engaging participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, no matter their background or ability. Project Rugby sessions introduce rugby to novices at easily accessible, familiar locations within local communities, run by coaches and volunteers from Premiership Rugby Clubs and Club Foundations spread across the nation.

Since its inception in 2017, over 100,000 people have participated in Project Rugby sessions held at over 200 different locations across England. Harnessing rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship, the programme has welcomed, inspired and motivated many young people to seek out local teams so they can continue to play regularly.

Wayne Morris, Community & CSR Director, Premiership Rugby says: ‘‘Hats off to Archie for such an amazing turnearound. The success of our Project Rugby programme in schools is demonstrated here with Archie’s story. By taking the step to give rugby a go he has improved not only his physical health but impacted every aspect of his life positively. We believe everyone can benefit from the core values of rugby and that they can be life changing. By working with schools in local communities Project Rugby provides opportunities for young people, irrespective of background or ability, to experience a growth in confidence that can transcend into all areas of their lives helping them go on with a brighter future.’’

Cheryl Phillips, Managing Director of title partner Gallagher’s Exeter branch said: “Archie is a shining example of the impact playing sport regularly can make to a young person’s life and the positive future it can help carve out.

“The core values of rugby are not restricted to the pitch, through finding his love for this great sport via Project Rugby, Archie has developed values which influence every aspect of his life positively. We are very proud to be supporting Project Rugby as it is helping to improve the lives of young people through presenting them with new opportunities.”

About Project Rugby

Project Rugby is a Premiership Rugby community programme which aims to increase participation in rugby by traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women and girls, people with a disability or from ethnically diverse or low socio-economic (DEC/LSEG) backgrounds. It provides accessible opportunities for people to try rugby and play the game regularly through sessions delivered by community staff at each of Premiership Rugby’s shareholder clubs and club foundations in 200 locations nationwide.

To find your nearest Project Rugby session visit:

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