SWITCH

In October 2016, the Harlequins Foundation launched Switch – a multi-tiered programme aimed at encouraging girls to get involved in the sport by:

  • Increasing accessibility and participation – providing opportunities for girls to take part in rugby.
  • Inspiring and Exceling – using our coaches to nurture and develop girls’ progression within the game.
  • Developing and Sustaining – educating staff, supporting schools, and providing an onward pathway.
Aviva Premiership Rugby4All at, Harlequins Stoop, Twickenham, London, England on Thursday 18th February 2016  - Photo mandatory by-line: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle for Aviva Premiership Rugby - Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 - Mobile:0797 1270 681 - 18/02/16 - SPORT - Rugby Union.
HOW IS SWITCH CHANGING LIVES?

As a young carer for her younger brother who has autism, Emilie Gabriel has a challenging home life. Until Switch came to her school she hadn’t had much to do with sport of any kind, but she decided to give rugby a go.

Since she started playing rugby Emilie has grown in confidence. Rugby showed her that she could find solutions to the challenges she was facing. It gave her the chance to let off steam.

She had felt isolated at school, but rugby helped her make new friends from different backgrounds.

Emilie has also discovered that she has a real talent, representing Middlesex Under 15s and earning a rugby scholarship at the prestigious Reed’s School.

11

SCHOOLS ENGAGED WITH IN TWICKENHAM AND RICHMOND SINCE 2016

246

ATTENDED LADIES’ MATCH DAY COACHING CLINICS THIS SEASON

203

ATTENDED FEBRUARY 2019 SWITCH ROADSHOW

2

BRAND NEW GIRLS SCHOOLS RUGBY TEAMS CREATED

10,000

AMBITION TO ENGAGE WITH 10,000 GIRLS OVER NEXT 10 YEARS

400

GIRLS TAKEN PART IN SWITCH SCHOOL SESSIONS THIS SEASON

HARLEQUIN LADIES INVOLVEMENT

Players from our Senior Women’s Team are key role models for the girls the Switch Programme empowers. They regularly make player and guest coach appearances as they help inspire the next generation of Harlequins Players.

In our most recent Harlequins Switch Roadshow a number of key players turned their hands to coaching: Harlequins Ladies and England U20 fly-half Ellie Green at Worthing RFC, Harlequins Ladies and Ireland front rower Leah Lyons at Pulborough, winger Ellie Miles at Wimbledon, 1st XV hooker Davinia Catlin at Old Reigatians and former Wales International Rebecca Rowe at Chobham. Racheal Burford, Harlequins Ladies Club Captain attended the entire Roadshow, making guest appearances at all 5 clubs.

Head of Foundation Marc Leckie said: “It’s fantastic to have these players on board with us for our first edition of the SWITCH Roadshow.

“ It is a brilliant programme that introduces young women to the sport, encouraging fun, enjoyment and the opportunity to transition into local clubs and perhaps even Harlequins Ladies. We are all hopeful that in the next few years some of the girls who have participated in SWITCH will end up running out at The Stoop.

“No matter what their level of ability, the Roadshow is a brilliant opportunity for girls to come down and learn from some of the best players in the game, and I am so excited to see how many have already booked on to what will be a fantastic week”.

WOMEN AND GIRLS LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

Following the success of our landmark fixture between the Harlequins Ladies & Richmond Ladies last season, where over 4,500 spectators cheered Harlequins to victory, we have announced our ambition to strive for gender parity in sport and in wider society. As such, the Harlequins Foundation are looking to broaden the reach of our SWITCH Women and Girls rugby project.

We would love our SWITCH project to become an entirely female led and delivered programme. We want to develop a group of women who would receive not only their coaching qualifications and become a coaching delivery work force, they would also receive a number of other CPDs around work, motivational talks and other work/development opportunities.

We have a small working group currently trialling this concept from select local Universities and those who are part of Harlequins Centre of Excellence.

What does the programme look like?

Quins Leadership Workshops

Team building/ leadership tasks

Guest speakers from women in different areas of Quins (Players, coaches, PR, Media etc)

CPDs/ Quins Qualification (certificate)

Work experience/ shadowing

Level 2 upon completion

Why?

Experience

Something to add to CV

Reference from Quins

Networking opportunities

Additional qualifications

Employment opportunities upon completion