CHILDREN with behavioural challenges and disabilities in Coventry have been given access to an innovative new pilot rugby programme to help learn and develop new skills.
More than 80 children from four special schools have taken part in Accessible Rugby, a new 12-week programme which culminated in a major tag rugby festival.
Pupils received rugby coaching from Coventry Rugby Club which saw them learn core rugby skills such as passing, catching and evasion, in turn developing their confidence, spatial awareness and hand-eye co-ordination.
To mark the end of the pilot, schools gathered at the Alan Higgs Centre in Allard Way to compete in a tag rugby festival.
The initiative was launched in support of Coventry’s ten year sports strategy which sees a particular emphasis on increasing provision for disability sport across the city.
The programme was delivered in partnership by Coventry Rugby Club and Engage! – an initiative which teaches the core values of rugby, such as teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline, to children to provide social and educational benefits as a way of developing active and well-rounded young people in Coventry.
“We were delighted to deliver the programme, especially to children who might normally otherwise have not had access to the game,” said Matt Price, community manager at Coventry Rugby Club.
“It is vital for children of all abilities to have access to high-quality rugby coaching which not only improves their health and sporting skills but also equips them with the skills needed to handle challenges off the field too.
“Giving pupils the opportunity to see professional rugby at one of our home matches is an added bonus which we hope will encapsulate the spirit of the game inspire them to continue playing.”
As a special reward for each pupil’s hard work, schools were invited as guests of honour at Coventry Rugby Club’s home game against Esher last month and took part in the half-time parade and guard of honour.
Schools which took part in the programme include Sherbourne Fields School in Rowington Close, Corley Centre in Church Lane, Woodfield School in Hawthorn Lane and Castle Wood School in Deedmore Road.