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Premiership Rugby

Union and League stars join forces to launch rugby themed learning resource

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

World Champion Rugby Union star, Jason Leonard, together with Great Britain Rugby League star, Adrian Morley, today launched “Tackle Learning”, a collection of over 40 rugby themed educational activities helping to promote the development of literacy, numeracy and communication skills in school children.

Leonard, who plays for Zurich Premiership club NEC Harlequins, and Morley from Sydney Roosters, were joined by Women’s Rugby League Vice Captain, Jane Banks, and England Women’s Rugby Union captain, Maxine Edwards at the House of Commons to promote the new learning resource.

The initiative, supported by Zurich, sponsor of the rugby union Premiership, and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), is a set of rugby themed activities targeting Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils aged between 9 and 14 years.

The project is unique as it is the first time that the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union have joined forces across the two codes of rugby to work in partnership with the Rugby Football Union for Women, Premier Rugby and Zurich, to support the national curriculum.

The materials are a collection of suggested activities for teachers and clubs to amend, adapt and develop to suit their own particular needs, interests and locations.  Teachers do not require any basic knowledge of the game to be able to deliver the activities, which have been written to appeal to all pupils, irrespective of sporting interest or gender.  Subjects include drama, music, art, history, geography, citizenship, media, design technology, enterprise and key skills.

The activities can be used to support both mainstream and out of hours school learning programmes.  The aim is to establish an effective working partnership between schools and rugby clubs, from either code.

Richard Lewis, Executive Chairman of the Rugby Football League, said “The Tackle Learning pack will help the game to build on our well established school links by integrating the real life excitement and appeal of rugby into the school curriculum and after school programme”

James Hill, of major sponsor Zurich, commented “This project perfectly matches Zurich’s aim of making a positive contribution to the game and adding real value at grassroots level.  Young people will now have the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of rugby whilst learning at the same time”.

Robert Horner, President of the Rugby Football Union, commented “I am delighted to learn that rugby is playing an increasingly important role in the education of young people.  This resource, which links education and rugby, recognises the increasing popularity of the game and that it can serve as a medium for stimulating children’s ability to learn”

Teachers wanting to find out more about Tackle Learning should contact Andrew George at the Department for Education and Skills on 0114 259 4164.

ENDS

For further information on Tackle Learning, please contact the Department for Education and Skills:

Andrew George Tel 0114 259 4164Steve Smith Tel 0113 367 6303Alwyn Morgan Tel 01482 669031

Notes to Editors

Zurich Financial Services is an insurance-based financial services provider with an international network that focuses its activities on its key markets of North America, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Founded in 1872, Zurich is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It has offices in more than 50 countries and employs about 64,000 people.

For more information visit www.zurich.co.uk

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