Sporting Equals ambassador and Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi joined the community team from Saracens for a Rugby4All session at Wilbury Primary School in Enfield. Rugby4All is Premiership Rugby’s innovative programme funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, launched in 2014 and working to increase diversity and equality in rugby.
Maggie attended the event in her capacity as a Sporting Equals ambassador who are a key partner of Premiership Rugby’s Rugby4All. Sporting Equals advise Premiership Rugby on how to actively promote greater involvement in rugby amongst underrepresented groups.
Maggie Alphonsi said "Sporting Equals and Premiership Rugby through Rugby4All do some amazing work to create opportunities, particularly women and girls and BME communities, to experience rugby. I’m excited to be part of the session in Enfield and I hope that I can inspire more children to get into rugby".
On 6 February Sporting Equals will also be also hosting the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards, another great initiative which celebrates sporting excellence within BME communities but also plays an important role in inspiring the next generation.
Wayne Morris of Premiership Rugby said "We are really excited to be partnering with Sporting Equals – they play an important role in supporting us to ensure that the power of rugby reaches those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part, particularly BME communities. Since the launch of Rugby4All we are close to 10,000 young people from underrepresented groups take part in the programme delivered by Premiership Rugby Clubs. In that time more than 500 females and BME teachers and coaches have been trained to take the game to a new audience."
Arun Kang, CEO of Sporting Equals and Founder of the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards, commented "Our partnership with Premiership Rugby is a fantastic way for us to support the growing popularity of rugby in the UK, ensuring that even the most disadvantaged communities get to experience its benefits. The support of rugby great Maggie Alphonsi at this event and with the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards is a brilliant way to be able to show these children what they can aspire to achieve in sport."
Delivered by Premiership Rugby clubs, the Rugby4All programme aims to recruit and train 240 BME coaches. In high BME communities, 1,800 primary school children will be given opportunities to try rugby, and there will be taster sessions for 600 11-15 year olds with 240 of them progressing into a player development programme. The programme also provides 7,200 secondary school girls with the chance to play rugby, and support female players to join local rugby clubs. In addition, 480 teachers and volunteers will be trained to support the growth of girls’ rugby.