Tom Clift

Member Article

Engage announces partnership with Wasps

A leading educational rugby initiative in Coventry is to help more people ‘break’ into the sport after announcing a new partnership with Wasps.

Engage! Coventry has been commissioned by Wasps to deliver its Premiership Rugby community programmes across the city.

Premiership Rugby oversees a range of programmes delivered under two campaigns ‘PLAY’ which aims to create opportunities for people to participate, develop and excel in rugby and ‘BreakThru’ which looks to develop sustainable health, education and social change outcomes through rugby.

As part of the ‘BreakThru’ campaign, hundreds of schoolchildren in Coventry will get the opportunity to participate in Premiership Rugby’s Something to Chew On programme, which encourages healthy living habits through rugby, and the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme, which aims to increase children’s confidence and understanding of numerical skills.

The HITZ programme is also being launched to give young people aged between 16 and 19 the skills they need to stay in or get back into education, vocational training or employment.

While Premiership Rugby’s newest community programme, On the Front Foot, will look to build on the buzz of the Rugby World Cup and take the game’s key values into schools to help build children’s characters.

Engage! Coventry will also look to increase participation in the sport across Coventry through Premiership Rugby’s ‘PLAY’ campaign.

‘Rugby4All’ will aim to make the game more inclusive by reaching out to women and girls and black and minority ethnic groups across the city, while Wasps Urban Rugby Squad also engages with children from none traditional rugby backgrounds at the same time as focusing on issues such as anger management, drugs and alcohol misuse, sexual health and physical fitness.

Tom Clift, programme manager of Engage!, said he is confident that the delivery of Wasps’ community programmes across the city will help to inspire the next generation.

“Coventry has entered a new era of opportunity. With Wasps now based in the city and all of the excitement around the Rugby World Cup, it couldn’t be a better time for us to engage more young people in the game,” he said.

“We are proud to be able to run such a diverse range of programmes through Wasps and Premiership Rugby which will benefit hundreds of children across the city.

“The programmes not only look to increase participation and teach the technical skills of rugby, but also use the core values of the game including teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline as way of developing healthy, well rounded and confident young people.

“We are looking forward to working with Wasps and Premiership Rugby to make the programmes a success and to move forward with our plans to establish a long-lasting rugby legacy in Coventry where every child has the opportunity to play the game.”

Matthew Bates, head of community at Wasps, said it is important that the club focuses on nurturing talent at a grassroots level.

“Grassroots rugby is key to maintaining the future of the sport and we are committed to delivering programmes that increase inclusion with children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds encouraged to take part.

“It made total sense to commission Engage! Coventry, through Coventry Sports Foundation and we are pleased to have formed a partnership with them to deliver our Premiership Rugby community programmes and look forward to working with them in the future.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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