19th May, 2022

Grief kicked into touch thanks to Wasps Community Foundation's touch rugby sessions

Ben Tyler 1st May, 2019

THE WASPS Community Foundation have been praised after helping a Leamington man to change his life for the better, before and after completing one of the club’s programme’s.

Simon Rockliffe set up his own touch rugby sessions in Coventry – Touch Rugby Coventry – which have since gone down well in the community, after joining Wasps’ Move Like a Pro programme early in 2018.

The programme run by the club is aimed at men between the ages of 30 and 55 with the goal of losing weight and leading healthier lifestyles, whilst adding a social aspect for the members who take part.

It was that element of the sessions that enabled Rockcliffe to able to grieve the loss of his daughter, and seek support through the group of friends that he had accumulated from the MLAP programme.

He was also able to reduce his waistline by four inches during the Wasps’ sessions, and now leads a group of more than 30 adults in touch rugby.

Rockcliffe said the Wasps’ programme was imperative to helping him deal with the shock of losing his daughter, and allow him to move on and help others in the community through his own sessions.

“The 12-week programme with Wasps was great both in terms of the physical and social side of things, and by the end of it we were left wanting more, which is why I decided to carry it on by launching my own session.

“When I learned of the loss of my daughter, I had more people ringing me that I had met through Wasps than lifelong friends, which says a lot about how powerful exercise and sport can be socially.

“The Move Like A Pro group was just as much a support group as it was a rugby group, and that is exactly the same ethos we now have at Touch Rugby Coventry.”

The MLAP programme was established by the Wasps Community Foundation, and recently dedicated their match against Saracens towards raising funds for the Foundation.

Rockcliffe’s touch rugby sessions are held between 6:30pm and 8pm at Coventrians Rugby Club in Holbrooks, and every Sunday between 9:30am and 11am at Coundon Hall Park – with plans to put on walking touch rugby sessions for older generations.

For more information about joining the touch rugby sessions, search for the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/touchrugbycoventry, or call directly at 07506 048595.

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