Premiership Rugby has launched a ground-breaking new initiative which 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, using rugby as its inspiration.
In partnership with BT Sport's The Supporters Club, the broadcaster's initiative that aims to build a better world through sport, and Restart Rugby, the official charity of The Rugby Players' Association (RPA), the Urban Rugby Squad ran across all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs this summer.
The programme will be implemented thanks to a substantial grant from BT Sport's The Supporters Club, which will see club coaches across the country deliver a 12-week recruitment and development programme with four local satellite clubs.
Newcastle Falcons held their satellite clubs in the Hartlepool area and the uptake was huge. With 99 participants registering onto the programme this made selection for the final squad very difficult for our Durham community development officer, Phil Wallis.
He said: “The numbers that have attended the satellite centres have been a very pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure how the programme would be received but I am delighted with how many participants have registered.
“All participants were invited to attend Kingston Park Stadium for our regional touch rugby festival, where the final training squad was selected. The standard of rugby on show was excellent. Some of the tries scored were fantastic and their basic skills have improved massively since the first week of the programme.”
Further outreach and recruitment sessions are planned over the summer holidays, so watch this space.
Urban Rugby Squad:
Amy Kirby, Bobby Williams, Brandon Dean, Charlotte Wanley, Cole Richardson, Ethan Rennie, Gabriel Smyth, Hannah Crichton, Harrison Wright, Jack Arnold, Jack Turner, James Miler, Jay McLean, Joe Picken, Kane Emmerson, Katie Willis, Kieran Wright, Lewis Dixon, Libby Compton, Luke Gregory, Matthew Orley, Max Filby, Mhari Louise Maley, Nicole Johnston, Oliver Fenny, Oliver Mossop, Polly Andrews, Sadie Leslie, Sophie Derbyshire.