Young people from the Project Rugby programme enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Project Rugby mixed ability festival hosted at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.
Basked in sunshine, participants from the Project Rugby programme enjoyed the opportunity of competing against other clubs from Premiership Rugby clubs in a fun and competitive atmosphere on Worcester Warriors’ first-team pitch.
The mixed ability festival was an all-day event, designed to reward players for their participation over the year, while celebrating the recent success of Project Rugby engaging with over 25,000 individuals. Participants played against each other throughout round-robin style matches before Worcester edged a competitive final against Old Leamingtonians, a mixed ability side made up of participants from Wasps’ Project Rugby programme.
Project Rugby, run by Premiership Rugby in collaboration with England Rugby, is a flagship inclusivity programme which specifically tackles under-representation in the sport among BAME, low socio-economic and disability participants. Delivered in local communities by Premiership Rugby clubs, Project Rugby sessions provide easy to access playing opportunities for people new to rugby, no matter where they are. Free coaching provision delivered in high density BAME areas and in partnership with specialist community groups is linked to grassroots rugby clubs, 137 of which have benefitted from new players so far.
With Premiership Rugby club stadia playing host to the festival as well as facilitating a replication of the Gallagher Premiership matchday experience, Project Rugby aims to offer participants an experience they’ll never forget. From the opportunity to play on a professional rugby team’s pitch, using the first team changing rooms and being interviewed in front of branded media boards, participants had the opportunity to experience the life of a professional player with an authentic matchday.
Project Rugby, which is run in partnership with Gallagher, has recently reached new heights and engaged 25,000 participants during the past two years, with 3,340 participants from BAME backgrounds, 17,715 from low socio-economic groups and 4,652 people with disabilities have picked up a rugby ball and become involved with the game through the programme.
Sean Noone, Community Coach at Wasps, commented. “We at Wasps brought a team called the Hornets from Old Leamingtons RFC – they have been together for about a year with us on Project Rugby. They have played with us at the Ricoh Arena, at the Gallagher Premiership Final at Twickenham Stadium and now at Sixways Stadium in Worcester! It is amazing how the team has come together – parents, youngsters with learning disabilities and physical disabilities all to be in a team with such camaraderie and spirit.”
Luke Sinden, Worcester Project Rugby participant added: “It’s been fantastic today, everybody taking part in this 30 degree heat, but it’s been a credit to everybody, particularly to Worcester Warriors and Premiership Rugby who organised it. It was great to see all the players getting along and playing hard but fair – all this contributed to everyone having a really good time.”
For more information on Project Rugby and to find a session near you, visit www.projectrugby.co.uk