Premiership Rugby Coaches Visit High Schools In Queens, Brooklyn And The Bronx

Premiership Rugby coaches today visited high schools in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, as part of an initiative to develop and promote rugby.

Coaching sessions were run to assist high school pupils who will be playing in the Public School Athletics League High School Rugby 7s Final on Friday.

Marc Dibble from Exeter Chiefs, Tamara Taylor from Worcester Warriors, Caryl Thomas from Bath Rugby and Max Malkin from Saracens delivered sessions to the 7s girls and boys teams at Urban Assembly High School in the Bronx (photo attached). They were joined by the Collegiate 7s Oklahoma team, who will be playing at the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia on Saturday, and who worked with the Premiership Rugby coaches giving tips and running a Question and Answer session.

Representatives of Premiership Rugby are in the United States of America to play a key role in the development and promotion of rugby in the country.

12 coaches, one from each of the Premiership Rugby clubs, have travelled to New York along with four members of Premiership Rugby’s Community Team to help promote the game.  The visit follows Premiership Rugby’s successful trip to Brazil in March to help in the development of rugby in South America.

The core values of rugby will be used by coaches in their work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in New York to help improve self-esteem, community cohesion and other social outcomes.

The visit runs from 28th May to 2nd June and involves the following Premiership Rugby coaches:  Caryl Thomas from Bath Rugby, Marc Dibble from Exeter Chiefs, David Barley from Gloucester Rugby, Thomas Williams from Harlequins, Christophe Ridley from Leicester Tigers, Michael Crump from London Irish, Ian Isham from London Wasps, Gavin Beasley from Newcastle Falcons, Benjamin Mann from Northampton Saints, Richard Spencer from Sale Sharks, Max Malkin from Saracens and Tamara Taylor from Worcester Warriors, alongside Wayne Morris, Sophie Hartley, Helen Clayton and Scott Watson from Premiership Rugby’s Community Department.

On Thursday 31st May Premiership Rugby coaches will help launch the Great Campaign Sports Festival, a touch tournament in Central Park, and then will be attending an end-of-season awards event in Harlemwith youngsters’ friends and family.

On Friday 1st June, the Public School Athletics League High School Rugby 7s Final will be taking place in New York.  During the week leading up to the Final and for the Final itself, two Premiership Rugby coaches and one Play Rugby USA coach will be assigned to mentor each school.

On Saturday 2nd June, Premiership Rugby will be running fan engagement fitness testing sessions in the fans village at the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia, where the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy will also be on display.

Premiership Rugby’s Community Department has developed a number of ground-breaking initiatives including the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, the award winning MBNA Tackling Numbers project and the award winning and innovative social inclusion programme Hitz, as well as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Cup, and ESPN Premiership Rugby Masterclasses.

Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said “Each season Premiership Rugby and its clubs invest more than £3 million in a variety of community programmes which aim to grow grassroots participation and tackle core social issues.  In the last year alone, Premiership Rugby clubs delivered 150,000 man-hours of community programming to more than 240,000 participants. Premiership Rugby also provides 600 professional players, each a strong role model within their communities, who are involved in supporting the schemes.  Our programmes prove that we are a world leader when it comes to our community initiatives, and I’m delighted we have been given the chance to come to the USA to help promote and grow the game.”

Mark Griffin, President of Play Rugby USA (PRUSA), said: “Play Rugby USA is one of the foremost Rugby-based youth development programs in the world. The PRUSA Academy aspires to be the pinnacle of PRUSA’s player development efforts for aspiring and talented young athletes. Partnering with Premiership Rugby and the world’s most competitive domestic rugby competition not only provides a strong endorsement of our Academy’s efforts but more importantly an opportunity for our players and coaches to develop with the support of a World Class partner.”

Dan Lyle, Executive Vice President of USA Sevens Rugby and a former Premiership Rugby player, said: “At the USA Collegiate Rugby Championship Finals we marry up development and aspirational opportunities for players and coaches.  Premiership Rugby runs the top club competition globally and the partnership continues our efforts of partnering with World Class groups.”

Premiership Rugby Lands In The U.S.A. To Promote And Develop Rugby

Representatives of Premiership Rugby have landed in the United States of America to play a key role in the development and promotion of rugby in the country.

En route the Aviva Premiership Rugby Trophy visited the cockpit of the British Airways plane (photo attached).  British Airways has supported the visit by supplying flights from their Olympic Flight Bursary Programme.

12 coaches, one from each of the Premiership Rugby clubs, have travelled to New York along with four members of Premiership Rugby’s Community Team to help promote the game.  The visit follows Premiership Rugby’s successful trip to Brazil in March to help in the development of rugby in South America.

The core values of rugby will be used by coaches in their work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in New York to help improve self-esteem, community cohesion and other social outcomes.

The visit runs from 28th May to 2nd June and involves the following Premiership Rugby coaches:  Caryl Thomas from Bath Rugby, Marc Dibble from Exeter Chiefs, David Barley from Gloucester Rugby, Thomas Williams from Harlequins, Christophe Ridley from Leicester Tigers, Michael Crump from London Irish, Ian Isham from London Wasps, Gavin Beasley from Newcastle Falcons, Benjamin Mann from Northampton Saints, Richard Spencer from Sale Sharks, Max Malkin from Saracens and Tamara Taylor from Worcester Warriors, alongside Wayne Morris, Sophie Hartley, Helen Clayton and Scott Watson from Premiership Rugby’s Community Department.

On Thursday 31st May Premiership Rugby coaches will help launch the Great Campaign Sports Festival, a touch tournament in Central Park, and then will be attending an end-of-season awards event in Harlemwith youngsters’ friends and family.

On Friday 1st June, the Public School Athletics League High School Rugby 7s Final will be taking place in New York.  During the week leading up to the Final and for the Final itself, two Premiership Rugby coaches and one Play Rugby USA coach will be assigned to mentor each school.

On Saturday 2nd June, Premiership Rugby will be running fan engagement fitness testing sessions in the fans village at the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia, where the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy will also be on display.

Premiership Rugby’s Community Department has developed a number of ground-breaking initiatives including the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, the award winning MBNA Tackling Numbers project and the award winning and innovative social inclusion programme Hitz, as well as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Cup, and ESPN Premiership Rugby Masterclasses.

Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said “Each season Premiership Rugby and its clubs invest more than £3 million in a variety of community programmes which aim to grow grassroots participation and tackle core social issues.  In the last year alone, Premiership Rugby clubs delivered 150,000 man-hours of community programming to more than 240,000 participants. Premiership Rugby also provides 600 professional players, each a strong role model within their communities, who are involved in supporting the schemes.  Our programmes prove that we are a world leader when it comes to our community initiatives, and I’m delighted we have been given the chance to come to the USA to help promote and grow the game.”

Mark Griffin, President of Play Rugby USA (PRUSA), said: “Play Rugby USA is one of the foremost Rugby-based youth development programs in the world. The PRUSA Academy aspires to be the pinnacle of PRUSA’s player development efforts for aspiring and talented young athletes. Partnering with Premiership Rugby and the world’s most competitive domestic rugby competition not only provides a strong endorsement of our Academy’s efforts but more importantly an opportunity for our players and coaches to develop with the support of a World Class partner.”

Dan Lyle, Executive Vice President of USA Sevens Rugby and a former Premiership Rugby player, said: “At the USA Collegiate Rugby Championship Finals we marry up development and aspirational opportunities for players and coaches.  Premiership Rugby runs the top club competition globally and the partnership continues our efforts of partnering with World Class groups.”

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY COACHES TO VISIT THE U.S.A. TO PROMOTE AND DEVELOP RUGBY

Premiership Rugby is travelling to the United States of America at the end of May to play a key role in the development and promotion of rugby in the country.

12 coaches, one from each of the Premiership Rugby clubs, will be travelling to New York along with four members of Premiership Rugby’s Community Team to help promote the game.  The visit follows Premiership Rugby’s successful trip to Brazil in March to help in the development of rugby in South America.

The core values of rugby will be used by coaches in their work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in New York to help improve self-esteem, community cohesion and other social outcomes.

The visit will run from 28th May to 2nd June and involves the following Premiership Rugby coaches:  Caryl Thomas from Bath Rugby, Marc Dibble from Exeter Chiefs, David Barley from Gloucester Rugby, Thomas Williams from Harlequins, Christophe Ridley from Leicester Tigers, Michael Crump from London Irish, Ian Isham from London Wasps, Gavin Beasley from Newcastle Falcons, Benjamin Mann from Northampton Saints, Richard Spencer from Sale Sharks, Max Malkin from Saracens and Tamara Taylor from Worcester Warriors, alongside Wayne Morris, Sophie Hartley, Helen Clayton and Scott Watson from Premiership Rugby’s Community Department.

On Thursday 31st May Premiership Rugby coaches will help launch the Great Campaign Sports Festival, a touch tournament in Central Park, and then will be attending an end-of-season awards event in Harlemwith youngsters’ friends and family.

On Friday 1st June, the Public School Athletics League High School Rugby 7s Final will be taking place in New York.  During the week leading up to the Final and for the Final itself, two Premiership Rugby coaches and one Play Rugby USA coach will be assigned to mentor each school.

On Saturday 2nd June, Premiership Rugby will be running fan engagement fitness testing sessions in the fans village at the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia, where the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy will also be on display.

Premiership Rugby’s Community Department has developed a number of ground-breaking initiatives including the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, the award winning MBNA Tackling Numbers project and the award winning and innovative social inclusion programme Hitz, as well as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Cup, and ESPN Premiership Rugby Masterclasses.

Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said “Each season Premiership Rugby and its clubs invest more than £3 million in a variety of community programmes which aim to grow grassroots participation and tackle core social issues.  In the last year alone, Premiership Rugby clubs delivered 150,000 man-hours of community programming to more than 240,000 participants. Premiership Rugby also provides 600 professional players, each a strong role model within their communities, who are involved in supporting the schemes.  Our programmes prove that we are a world leader when it comes to our community initiatives, and I’m delighted we have been given the chance to come to the USA to help promote and grow the game.”

Mark Griffin, President of Play Rugby USA (PRUSA), said: “Play Rugby USA is one of the foremost Rugby-based youth development programs in the world. The PRUSA Academy aspires to be the pinnacle of PRUSA’s player development efforts for aspiring and talented young athletes. Partnering with Premiership Rugby and the world’s most competitive domestic rugby competition not only provides a strong endorsement of our Academy’s efforts but more importantly an opportunity for our players and coaches to develop with the support of a World Class partner.”

Dan Lyle, Executive Vice President of USA Sevens Rugby and a former Premiership Rugby player, said: “At the USA Collegiate Rugby Championship Finals we marry up development and aspirational opportunities for players and coaches.  Premiership Rugby runs the top club competition globally and the partnership continues our efforts of partnering with World Class groups.”

TACKLING NUMBERS PROGRAMME SHORTLISTED FOR TOP AWARD

We’re delighted to announce that Tackling Numbers has been shortlisted for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme in the Card & Payment Awards.

Tackling Numbers, taken by Geoff Caddick/PA Wire

Tackling Numbers, taken by Geoff Caddick/PA Wire

Tackling Numbers is an interactive numeracy programme for young children, developed and delivered by Premiership Rugby in partnership with MBNA. The five week programme aims to teach 8-9 year olds the importance of number skills in everyday life.

Rugby is a social game that unites and brings people from all over the world together, and so it’s great to see rugby’s ability to engage with children being used to engage kids in the classroom. The programme utilizes the power of rugby to promote the understanding and learning of numeracy in a fun and enjoyable way, and the classroom sessions are supported by practical PE sessions that unite an active mind with an active body.

The winner will be announced on 1st February 2012, so check back then to find out if we’ve won!

Tackling exclusion through HITZ

HITZ is a high profile programme that is based in the heart of inner city estates, targeting young people at risk of exclusion and anti social behaviour. It introduces them to tag, touch and contact rugby and encourages them to take their game further.

HITZ session

HITZ session

I have seen for myself the huge impact that HITZ has on young people’s lives.

For example, John* first picked up a rugby ball when he was sixteen, a year and a half ago. He had never played the game before, and was uncertain in himself and in his skills. Now John is going into schools to coach younger children, gaining leadership and coaching experience as well as developing his own rugby skills.

In another case, Chantelle* previously didn’t think that girls could play rugby. When she first joined HITZ earlier this year, she was quiet, shy and withdrawn. Six months on, she bounds into each session, grin on her face. Her mother and teachers alike can’t believe how much confidence she has changed – “she’s like a totally different person now”.

These are just a couple of examples of the ways in which HITZ impacts positively lives of those young people that take part in the sessions, which are run at key times after school.

It is not just the participants who make the sessions special though – the dedicated rugby players who run them have developed a deep understanding of the young people they are working with.

They develop working relationships with the teachers in the local schools, get to know the participant’s peers and take a genuine interest in their lives – from their GSCE results to advising them when they are in trouble.

And some of them are in trouble – it is thought around a third of those participating in the sessions were known to the police. The sessions tackle social exclusion as well as delivering health outputs. Running sessions with the Met police encourage stronger relationships between the police and young people, helping bridge the gaps that seemed evident in the recent riots across the UK.

This, combined with teaching participants how to develop their emotions (a huge 73 per cent say that the sessions has helped them control their anger), means that the young people taking part are able to feel part of their communities, and reduces their likelihood of offending.

It is telling that HITZ is getting bigger – more young people are taking part and going on to coach themselves, more teachers are coming to us thrilled with the effect that HITZ is having on individuals in their classes, and more sessions being run throughout London boroughs – and I am looking forward to it becoming bigger still.

*names have been changed to protect identities

Saracens announced as winners of Premiership Rugby Community Club of the Year award

We are delighted that last week’s Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Rugby Community Awards saw Saracens score the Club of the Year award for the third year running.

Their secret?

The judges felt that the club’s reach – 75,000 people engaged over one year, with 25 separate programmes and almost 27,000 hours of community work – was so wide that it stood out from the other entries.

Also named as winners on the night were Bath Rugby and Bristol Rugby in the Innovation and Impact categories respectively.

Bath Rugby won the Innovation award for their Women and Girls programme, which works with girls and women age seven plus. The judges felt the increased opportunities provided for a group that is traditionally difficult to engage in sport made this a winning entry.

Bristol Rugby won the Impact award for their Inferno programme, which re-engages young offenders and youths with behavioural problems with education, employment and sport. With youth crime costing UK taxpayers £23million per week, the judges felt the impact this programme had on young people’s lives and the wider community was highly impressive.

The three winning clubs battled for top places after being shortlisted alongside Leicester Tigers (Aviva Club of the Year) and Worcester Warriors (Land Rover Impact Award and MBNA Innovation Award) in the first round of the awards, which are dedicated to highlighting best practice in community rugby.

The community team feel very priviledged to be working with such inspirational clubs, who truly make a difference to their local areas and beyond.

Dr. Keith Gilbert talks about the Premiership Rugby Community Awards

Following a very successful first round judging session for this year’s Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Rugby Community Awards, Dr Keith Gilbert shares his views on the importance of sport in the community.

Premiership Rugby Community Awards shortlist announced

We are delighted to announce the six finalists for the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Rugby Community Awards. The awards aim to praise the best community programmes from the 12 Aviva Premiership Clubs.

Clubs entered into three awards; the MBNA Impact award, the Land Rover Innovation award and the Aviva Club of the Year award.

The quality of entries this year was very high, and the judges were impressed with the breadth of programmes. However, there could only be two finalists in each category, and these are:

MBNA Innovation Award
- Bristol Rugby: Inferno. This programme addresses poor conduct and behaviour as well as low educational attainment in Youth Offending Institutions, Secure Units and Pupil Referral Units.
- Worcester Warriors: Midlands Ladies Touch League. This league was launched to encourage and engage more women in taking part in rugby union, as it became clear there was a lack of opportunities for women to play rugby in the region

Land Rover Impact Award
- Bath Rugby: Women and Girls Programme. This is the largest and best established female rugby club in the country, which increases opportunities for female access to physical exercise.
- Worcester Warriors: In Touch. This project works with young people with few or no qualifications and those at high risk of long term unemployment, helping then gain skills, respect and discipline and introducing key skills and qualifications.

Aviva Club of the Year Award
- Leicester Tigers
- Saracens

The shortlisted clubs will now go through to a second round of judging in Parliament, where they will present their cases for why they feel they should win their award. Although we have no idea yet who will win from each category, one thing is beyond dispute – all of the clubs going forward to the final are at the forefront of what they do.

It will be a tough job deciding between them when it comes to the final in July, and we are looking forward to seeing the results.

The Premiership Rugby Community Awards will be presented at a drinks and canapés reception on the 6th July at Portcullis House.

Mayor gives thumbs up to Rugby

The team here at Premiership Rugby were delighted to see an article this Monday applauding the virtues of rugby in tackling aggression in young people – penned by none other than the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

In the article he wrote in praise of HITZ, the programme Premiership Rugby runs with the Metropolitan Police in six London boroughs, he celebrates the sport for the way it channels aggression into something productive; as he puts it, after a tough game on the pitch “there is no reason for you to go off and get involved in gang violence because frankly that is what you have been doing for the last couple of hours”.

HITZ is designed to introduce young people to Rugby who may never have had the chance to play it before, giving them a confidence boost and demonstrating the possibility of working productively with authority figures, rather than avoiding them. It aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, break down barriers between communities and increase participation in sport. It also provides the participants with inspiring role models in the form of coaches and volunteers.

Although the participants are meeting up to play sport, they leave the pitch with more than just bruises. Their respect for others grows, their friendships evolve and they become more disciplined. The programme sees many of the participants bring friends along, take qualifications or even train to become a HITZ volunteer themselves. The sessions really do work.

The Mayor says in his article that millions of kids would benefit from playing this exhilarating sport, and we couldn’t agree more.

Premiership Rugby welcomes Aviva as Title Sponsor

premrugby-header-av1

Premiership Rugby is very excited that Aviva, the world’s fifth-largest insurance group and the largest insurance services provider in the UK, is Premiership Rugby’s new title sponsor. You can see the full press release on Aviva’s site here, and the four year partnership will officially launch closer to the start of the 2010-2011 season.

We’re particularly excited about Aviva’s sponsorship because of their commitment to and interest in grassroots athletics. Aviva is committed to supporting the development of grassroots sport, especially among young people. Between them, the 12 rugby clubs in Aviva Premiership Rugby will commit 15,000 man hours to work with 36,000 pupils per season at 600 primary schools as well as providing them with equipment and teacher training.

We’ll be sharing more about this as it happens!

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