Wasps Community round-up | March 2022

Date: 5 Apr 2022

In this new blog series, we will be shining a light on the valued work our Community team is doing in Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands.

Ian Isham, Head of Community, discusses the wide range of programmes currently being run, and the positive impact they are having, below.

We would like to thank all of the partners that support us in being able to deliver these initiatives.

It’s been an incredibly busy and productive start for our Community team and we have been delivering programmes to hundreds of people across our region – from primary school children who have never played rugby before, to adults looking to make positive changes to their lifestyles.

The first three months of the year culminated in a hugely successful programme of half-term events, and the feedback we had to our rugby and netball camps has been overwhelmingly positive.

We’d like to thank everyone that joined us in our Rugby camps at Milton Keynes RUFC, Woodrush RFC in Birmingham and Trinity Guild RFC in Coventry – those camps continue to be a great example of what we offer through our community set-up.

Over at Birmingham Exiles, more than 25 girls attended our free girls’ rugby camp - which made possible by support from Wasps Official Club Partner RSK - and were treated to coaching sessions by first team stars Jacob Umaga and Gabriel Oghre.

We’ll continue to offer these camps and we hope they will continue to encourage more young women to keep playing the sport.

Netball is also a key focus for us and our three netball camps at St Helen and St Katharine, Bablake and King Henry VIII School, and King Edward’s School for Girls were all completely sold out!

Coupled with Iona Christian’s centre court workshop at King’s High Warwick, we’ve had a phenomenal start to the year for our netball initiatives. Our Netball Development Officer has been delivering sessions at Eden Girls School, Rugby School, Radford Primary and Nottingham University.

We’re excited to continue to expand that footprint with netball, Our rugby and netball camps are now live for Easter - so visit wasps.co.uk/camps to book on.

WORKING IN SCHOOLS

The glue of our community programmes is our work in schools, and students in primary and secondary schools across Coventry and Warwickshire have been experiencing programmes from our coaches.

Rokeby Primary School became the first school to experience one of our new Premiership Rugby Champions programmes; which include Tackling Health, Tackling Character and Tackling Numeracy.

Rokeby engaged with us in Tackling Character and it is increasingly popular with schools, and we have lots of delivery already planned for the year ahead! It’s a character education programme which teaches the core values of rugby: teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.

The sessions are a combination of classroom delivery and practical sessions and we’re looking forward to bringing it to more primary schools over the course of the year.

Project Rugby continues at pace in secondary schools in Coventry and Birmingham and continues to encourage people from diverse communities to get into rugby. Stoke Park School have been a big supporter of the programme, and one of their students embodies everything the programme is about.

After picking a ball up for the first time in school with us, she came to one of our half-term camps and is now looking to join her first club.

We’ve reached 872 people already this year – 740 was our initial target! It’s really important that we give people the opportunity to learn the game and the confidence to keep playing.

Next-up we will be launching our ‘Pick It Up’ SEN programme for schools in Coventry and Warwickshire – but more on that later in the year! 

HITZ

Hitz is delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby clubs, but we are particularly proud of the strides the traineeships side of the programme has made so far this year.

We’ve seen some wonderful success stories, including a young person who has gone on to achieve employment from a work-experience placement we organised with Park Sheet Metal in Coventry.

There is a smaller number of young people in each cohort meaning we can dedicate lots of time in developing each individual and we are seeing great results. We have trainees working here in the arena, supporting with logistics, and also supporting our catering and hospitality partner Delaware North.

We see people come in who might be struggling with the circumstances they are in, they join the traineeship and go on to get a job after it – that’s what Hitz is all about and we’re preparing to welcome our next intake of young people in April.

If any businesses can support us with traineeship opportunities, please get in touch!

MOVE TO IMPROVE

After the first seven weeks of our health and wellbeing programme we had 36 adults taking part. The sessions have been held here at Coventry Building Society Arena and we have been helping the adults to improve their lifestyles through weight loss advice, physical activity sessions, mental health workshops and setting targets for group members to hit.

Incredibly, between the 36, they have amassed a weight loss of 73.5 kilos between them and are currently walking over 100 miles every week as a group – with the average combined weekly step count at more than 2,125,641.

AND FINALLY….

We would like to wish Alexandros and Harry the best of luck as they continue to work towards their coaching qualifications. We are supporting them through these qualifications and look forward to seeing their coaching journey develop. It has been incredible to see Alex develop with us since joining our Playing Advantage programme and progressing through Project Rugby.

Click here to find out more about our Community initiatives and how to get involved.