Fixtures - Top Bar

Building a legacy in Leicester

Leicester Tigers have enjoyed untold success on the pitch since the dawn of professional rugby but according to the club’s head of community Scott Clarke, their grassroots work has left a similar legacy.

Clarke was present at the tenth All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group Premiership Rugby Community awards in Westminster last Wednesday as coaches, role models and volunteers all came together to recognise the unsung heroes of the game. He was presented with an award by Premiership Rugby to mark more than a decade of service to the game in Leicester.

Of the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs, more than 500 volunteers and 150 community development staff are all working hard to ensure the sport grows after both this year’s World Cup and Rio 2016 – which will include rugby 7s for the first time – are long in the history books.

Few need reminding of the Tigers’ own storied history, having lifted seven Aviva Premiership Rugby titles since the turn of the millennium, but Clarke insists there has been as much progress off the field as on it.

“I’ve been involved for 15 years, so I’ve seen it since I’ve started,” he said. “At Tigers we were pretty fortunate, we had an established club, stadium and good support so when Premiership Rugby’s support first kicked off we had a community department.

“Premiership Rugby have really made a big difference to a lot of the clubs that didn’t have a community team, managing to get national programmes together to sustain staff and also make a local impact.

“Ten years ago I had five or six staff, and what Premiership Rugby has helped us to do is give us a belief that we’ve got a sustainable foundation to work from, and once you’ve got that you can look at the bigger things.

“We’ve had two or three programmes linked in with Premiership Rugby who help us maintain a sustainable community package.

“When you’re deciding whether or not you can afford that new fly-half, the community arm isn’t affected by that decision. So we have a constant approach, we’re not here for one week or gone the next.”

More than 180,000 hours worth of community programming has been compiled league-wide, and Clarke admits Welford Road is the perfect inspiration for their participants.

“One of our schemes is a NEETs (a young person not in education, employment or training) programme which has been running over the seven or eight years,” he added.

“We’ve been engaging with 16 to 19-year-olds who weren’t in employment and using rugby as a model to get them back involved in education.

“They come to the Tigers, walk around a great stadium, and as far as they’re concerned it wasn’t school.

“The fact that they went into a classroom and were learning was secondary, they all wanted to try and better themselves and were unhappy with the way their life was working out.

“They all used the ethos work hard, play hard, and also the no-nonsense discipline in rugby.

“We’re able to say here’s a need – health, education, sport, behavioural – that rugby is a great aid for and we can help with our positive role models on and off the pitch.

“Unless we have all the support from Premiership Rugby and sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to do that as effectively.”
 

Latest News

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…

Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship…

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars see home nations complete clean sweep

It’s been a busy weekend of international rugby and there were plenty of stand-out performances from a whole host of…

Supreme England secure series win in Argentina

Will Collier scored the winning try as England secured a hard-fought 2-0 series win against Argentina in another enthralling Test match.…