Danny Cipriani and the Land Rover Cup

The Land Rover Premiership Cup, a national grassroots rugby tournament for under-11s and under-12s, had its final at Twickenham this year on the same day as the Guinness Premiership Final, 16 May 2009. This video of the day shows what the kids did, and has an interview wth Danny Cipriani in which he discusses the importance of community rugby.

Warriors npower Inclusive Tag Programme: Video

Here’s a video about the Worcester Warriors npower Inclusive Tag Programme, which just won the Impact Award at the 2009 Citizenship Awards:

Welcome to the 2008-9 Rugby Season!

Hi, I’m Wayne Morris, Community Manager for Premier Rugby.  As our new season kicks off, I’d like to take the chance to give you an overview of the community work that’s coming up…

Our goal is to put community investment at the heart of the work we do as a professional sport.  Our Chief Executive Mark McCafferty gives us an overview of the community season ahead in this recent interview:

(To learn more about the sports season itself, listen to Mark’s interview on that subject here.)

We know that by engaging with local communities we cannot just help encourage kids to play rugby, but we can also make a contribution to dealing with other social problems.

Rugby is a great sport and a great way to encourage people to stay active but we think our brands, our players and our facilities can go beyond just addressing physical activity. Our programmes also set out to tackle social issues like health, social inclusion, education, and anti-bullying.

If you’d like to know more about our community policies, partnerships and programmes, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Below is an update on some of our most recent community projects:

Positive Futures

We’ve been working this summer on a few new areas, one of which has been a social inclusion pilot project with Positive Futures in London. To find out more about it, visit our Positive Futures blog post here and listen to a series of interviews with London Active Communities CEO Gary Stannett and others who participated or helped deliver the scheme.

EDF Energy Schools Programme

I am also delighted that we’re starting a new season of the world’s largest rugby-based community programme – the EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme, a national programme that has exposed thousands of 8-10 year olds to tag rugby. All twelve clubs in the Guinness Premiership participate; last fall the EDF Energy programme celebrated reaching 500 schools and we hope to reach 112,000 children by July 2009. (The government recognised the achievements of the programme last year when the National Sports Foundation awarded it a grant of almost £200,000.)

Wooden Spoon and the NSPCC

We have also got some interesting new programmes coming with the Wooden Spoon and the NSPCC. But more of that shortly…

New Land Rover Premiership Cup

This one’s quite exciting. Last week Guinness Premiership sponsors Land Rover launched the Land Rover Premiership Cup, a new tournament that each of our clubs will run that will reach 40,000 girls and boys over the next four years. It kicks off in October–you’ll certainly be hearing more about it on his blog. For now, check out the full news release here.

Could Rugby Be the New Boxing?

Caught this article in the Guardian this week:

This is the London Boxing Academy Community Project in north London, which provides a last chance of education for disengaged inner-city pupils more familiar with the criminal justice system than the inside of a classroom. The boxing ring gets them through the door then, in return for the training, they must attend lessons in an adjacent building. If they want to play a full part in sport they also need to stay off drugs.

It sounds a lot like Bristol Rugby’s Inferno programme, which won the Innovation Award at the Parliamentary Citizenship Awards last month.

Tindall celebrates 500 schools in EDF programme

In January Gloucester and England player Mike Tindall visited Minsterworth School in Gloucester to celebrate the 500th school taking part in the EDF Energy National Schools Rugby programme. The programme has exposed tag rugby to thousands of 8-10 year olds, and will reach 112,000 children by July 2009.

Mike said: “I’m delighted to be helping to celebrate that 50,000 children have been introduced to rugby through the EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme in just a year. The enthusiasm of the youngsters at Minsterworth School really does show the benefits of such a comprehensive programme.

“We need to bring rugby to new audiences and to give children a taste of the game at an early age. Tag rugby is a brilliant way of getting kids into rugby and helping them get fit and healthy. When you provide quality coaching and the right equipment, and have teachers and children who are keen, then you stand a really good chance of laying solid foundations for the future of the sport.”

Read more about the visit here.

Matthew Tait visits London School

Last fall Matthew Tait visited London’s Hounslow Heath Junior School as part of the EDF Energy National Schools Rugby Programme. Check out the video above!