Wasps community coach, Tom Clift believes the impact from Premiership Rugby’s Urban Rugby Squad can already be seen ahead of the National Tag Rugby Festival final on Monday.
The Urban Rugby Squad programme is a ground-breaking initiative which continues to see 1,000 young people aged 14-16 from disadvantaged communities across England participating in regular sporting activity and personal development workshops, which use rugby as inspiration on areas including anger management, drugs/alcohol misuse, sexual health and physical fitness assessment.
Premiership Rugby’s fantastic programme in partnership with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, and Restart Rugby, the Official Charity of The Rugby Players’ Association, will be showcased in a National Tag Rugby Festival on Monday 26th October at Twickenham Stoop.
Wasps ran four satellite centres across 12 weeks before hosting a regional event where they selected their squad of 14. The Aviva Premiership Rugby side then teamed up with Old Coventrians RFC and the local RFU to continue hosting two-hour sessions on a Friday night for all of those who had been involved in the programme, which most participated in regardless of being selected for the final squad.
“It has been a really good programme which has been inspired by the World Cup,” said Clift, who is a programme manager for Engage! Coventry – an educational rugby initiative that has been commissioned by Wasps to deliver their Premiership Rugby community programmes across the City.
“We have had two of our young people in particular (Bryce Pritchell and Leah Allsopp) who had never played before and had no rugby background, but are now looking to join clubs.
“We have already seen big change in the people who have been involved.
“The uptake with girls has been really interesting and hopefully Premiership Rugby will continue to run the programme next year.”
The big day begins at Richmond College at 11am. The two Semi-Finals (at 3.45pm) and the Final (4.15pm) are then on the main pitch at the Twickenham Stoop, where entry is free and all are welcome to attend.
Clift added: “They are all really excited and they have been looking forward to it for the last six weeks or so once the squad was picked.
“Pretty much all of them have not been involved in the sport before, so if we could come away with the win then that would be incredible, but they are all just happy to be competing against the other squads from across the country at the Stoop. They have all done well to even make the final.”
The Urban Rugby Squad is a ground-breaking new initiative run by Premiership Rugby and its clubs which has seen hundreds of young people aged 14-16 from disadvantaged communities across England participate in regular sporting activity and personal development. The programme has received substantial backing from BT Sport, through its charitable initiative The Supporters Club and Restart Rugby, the Official Charity of The Rugby Players' Association (RPA). A documentary about the Urban Rugby Squad is on BT Sport 1 on 1 November. For more details see premiershiprugby.com/UrbanRugbySquad.
Wasps Urban Rugby Squad: Bethuel Ahoua (Westwood School), Kia Marant (Westwood School), Leah Allsopp (Westwood School), Daisy Ingabine (Westwood School), Kody Price (Westwood School), Bryce Pritchell (Foxford School), Brandon Holden (Foxford School), Priety Nahar (Foxford School), Monique Tanne (Foxford School), Tyrell Daley (Foxford School), Brendon Dhaddo (Stoke Park), Georgia Jones (Caludon Castle), Storm Gordan (Stoke Park), Yoel Beyone (Lyng Hall).