Tackling Numbers Shortlisted For A Sports Marketing 360 Award

Premiership Rugby and MBNA’s ground-breaking Tackling Numbers programme has been shortlisted for an award at the Sports Marketing 360 Awards in the “Making a Difference” category.

Tackling Numbers is a rugby-themed numeracy programme that aims to teach 8-9 year olds the importance of number skills in everyday life, through both classroom sessions and practical number-based rugby games.

John Greaves, Corporate Communications Director for MBNA, said: “We have been thrilled with the success of the Tackling Numbers programme and with the positive feedback it has received. We believe it is important to equip young people with the knowledge and tools to help them manage their money in the future. Engaging them in mathematics in a practical and enjoyable way, with some of the stars of English rugby, allows us to provide a foundation for good financial literacy in adulthood.”

Votes can be cast at www.sportsmarketing360.com/awards until the 5th September 2012.

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.

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.

Saracens is Community Club of the Year

Saracens beat off stiff opposition from Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints to win this year’s Parliamentary Citizenship Awards yesterday. The judging panel included Derek Wyatt MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, Paul Farrelly MP and Andy Reed MP. Mark McCafferty, the Chief Executive of Premier Rugby and Miriam Sherlock, the editor of SportBusiness Magazine were also part of the panel. Here’s a video about how the day of the final.

Parliamentary CSR Awards from Glasshouse Partnership on Vimeo.

Positive Futures Rugby Pilot Programme

Positive Futures is a national social inclusion programme that’s funded by the Home Office. If you’re interested to know more about why the Home Office supports this scheme and in particular the role of sport in it, listen to Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker here:

Coaker also had this to say about the programme:

“We know that playing sports like rugby can boost young people’s confidence and self-esteem which in turn helps to make them resilient to the kind of peer pressure that can sometimes lead to drugs, crime and anti-social behaviour. I welcome the contribution that London’s professional rugby clubs are making in bringing sports to deprived neighbourhoods in inner cities and offering young people an alternative.”

PRL clubs Irish, Harlequins and Saracens worked closely with Positive Futures and charity London Active Communities to deliver an eight week programme to 280 boys and girls.

Photo courtesy of Sabera Bham

© Sabera Bham 2008

The programme taught touch rugby skills and also offered drug education, leadership and personal development pathways for participants through workshops and within coaching sessions.

(c) Sabera Kham 2008

© Sabera Bham 2008

Listen here an overview from Gary Stannett, CEO London Active Communities, on the pilot programme:

Listen here to comments from Helen Clayton, Operations Manager Sport Action Zone, on how the pilot was received by participants:

Listen here to some of the responses from coaches and players involved in the summer project: