AN EDUCATIONAL rugby project is encouraging primary schools in Coventry to make the ‘conversion’ to the sport after hosting a day of tag rugby festivals.
Children from primary schools across the city came to the Alan Higgs Centre, in Allard Way, to enjoy tag rugby festivals headed up by Former England winger and Wasps Ambassador, Paul Sackey.
The event was organised as part of Wasps’ community development programmes, delivered by the Engage! project for Premiership Rugby’s Breakthru campaign, which develops sustainable health, education and social change outcomes through rugby.
Over 800 pupils from years Four, Five and Six took part in two rugby programmes, with teams from each school marking the end of the six-week programmes by tackling the sport in a variety of tournament festivals.
14 schools were celebrating finishing both Premiership Rugby’s new On The Front Foot programme – which is designed to teach the core values of rugby such as teamwork, respect, discipline, sportsmanship and enjoyment – as well as its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme, designed to increase children’s understanding of and confidence in numerical skills.
Aviva Tackling Numbers combines classroom sessions and practical number-based tag rugby games to inspire children to be more active both physically and in their maths class participation.
Players at the tag rugby festivals were also given expert advice, support and words of encouragement from Wasps Ambassador and former England international, Paul Sackey.
He said: “It was great to see all the kids putting the skills they have learnt in class over the last six weeks into practise on the pitch.
“They really engaged with the game, and we’ve had great feedback from both pupils as well as parents.
“It’s important to get kids learning the core values of rugby – such as teamwork and respect – at a young age so that hopefully they will take the lessons learnt with them into later life.”
Engage! is a programme designed to use the core values of rugby to provide social and educational benefits as a way of developing healthy, well-rounded and confident young people.
The programme teaches the core values of teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline to children across the city.
Tom Clift, programme manager of Engage!, said: “Today’s festivals are the culmination of the past five weeks of classroom and outdoor tag rugby activity and it was great to receive such a positive turnout across both On The Front Foot and Aviva Tackling Numbers programmes.
“Over 800 schoolchildren have been engaged through the two Wasps community programmes, so it was great to celebrate the achievement with the tag rugby festivals that allowed everyone to come together and put their skills to the test.”
Schools which took part in On The Front Foot were; John Shelton Primary School, Richard Lee Primary School, St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, Park Hill Primary School, Stivichall Primary School, Henley Green Primary School and Earlsdon Primary School.
Whereas Potters Green Primary School, Grangehurst Primary School, Whittle Academy Primary School, Howes Primary School, Coundon Primary School, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and St Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School took on the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme.