Photo courtesy of PA Imagery
Premiership Rugby have launched the Urban Rugby Squad a ground-breaking new initiative which will see 1,000 young people aged 14-16 from disadvantaged communities across England given the opportunity to participate in regular sporting activity and personal development workshops that use rugby as inspiration.
In partnership with BT Sport's The Supporters Club, the broadcaster's initiative that aims to build a better world through sport, and Restart Rugby, the Official Charity of The Rugby Players' Association (RPA), the Urban Rugby Squad will be run across all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs this summer and in summer 2016.
Through the Engage! Programme, Wasps will be using four satellite bases for this initiative:
Coventry &North Warwickshire Cricket Club, 10-12noon, Wednesday's
Westwood Academy, 2-4pm, Wednesday's
Foxford School, 10-12noon, Thursday's
Centre AT7, 2-4pm, Thursday's
All participants get a free ticket to the Singha Premiership Rugby 7's at the Ricoh Arena on Friday 21st August.
The clubs will then come together in August for a Club Festival where an Urban Rugby Squad will be selected to represent each Premiership Rugby side at a National Festival, to be held in London in October.
Over the course of the programme, it is estimated that 1,000 young people from non-traditional rugby communities across England will be introduced to the game, with practical sessions built around personal workshops that focus on areas including anger management, drugs/alcohol misuse, sexual health and physical fitness assessment.
The partnership builds on the existing multi-year relationship between BT Sport and Premiership Rugby for exclusive live television coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport. Last year, The Supporters Club also provided a substantial grant to Premiership Rugby's Something to Chew On initiative, an interactive project that promotes healthy and active lifestyles to children using rugby as a focus.
"With our partners, BT Sport and The Rugby Players' Association, we are committed to show how rugby union can be a force for good in this country," said Premiership Rugby's Chief Executive Mark McCafferty.
BT Sport ambassador, Ugo Monye, added: "I'm looking forward to getting out and about over the summer, visiting clubs and harnessing the power of rugby to make a difference in what is an absolutely massive year for the sport.
Nick Eastwood, deputy chairman of Wasps, said: "The Urban Rugby Squad offers the chance to teach children about sport and healthy living by introducing them to rugby, a sport they may otherwise never have had the chance to enjoy."