As we come to the end of the first school term Wasps hosted 60 Year 9 students from schools across Coventry who took part in our Christmas Project Rugby festival at Pinley RFC. It was a great opportunity to round off a busy start to the programme this year and really see how much the students have learnt so far.
The festival not only looked to further engage students who had participated in our Project Rugby lessons and after-school clubs, but also aimed to engage a wider range of schools in the area to ensure as many students as possible had the chance to give rugby a go.
Project Rugby is a programme designed to engage typically under-represented groups in Rugby Union. This festival formed part of our work engaging with participants from Low-Socio Economic backgrounds as well as Diverse Ethnic Communities, as we seek to encourage their participation beyond school and into local rugby clubs.
Meg Varley, Community Rugby Coach said: “It’s been brilliant working with the schools and coaching the students during lessons and after-school clubs. Having the opportunity to put it into practice what they have learnt against other schools fosters greater enjoyment amongst the students and really does encourage them to think about joining a rugby club in their local area. It’s hugely rewarding to see young people who had never thought about picking a rugby ball up before, go on that journey and becoming fantastic rugby players with lots of potential!”
The day consisted of 3 rounds of 10-minute matches with each school fielding teams of students, of whom were almost all new to Rugby. The festival provided a competitive opportunity, but most impressive was the skill, teamwork, and enjoyment expressed by all the players which ultimately made every match entertaining to watch.
Lauren Cleaver, Teacher at Stoke Park School said: “Working with the Wasps coaches over the last term has given our students a brilliant opportunity to learn all about rugby from professional coaches who make the game enjoyable for learners of all levels. This festival was another great event for our students to attend and I know a number of them have now gone on to find opportunities to play rugby outside of school!”
Thank you to Pinley RFC for hosting the event, and thank you to all the schools, teachers and students who helped make the day a massive success!