The Harlequins Foundation welcome over 80 young people to participate in a mixed ability rugby festival at the home of Harlequins as part of the Project Rugby initiative.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) festival, where the Club hosted local schools to play an array of rugby games on The Stoop pitch, the Harlequins Foundation today held their second Mixed Ability Rugby Day for over 80 pupils.
The event was part of Harlequins’ contribution to the Premiership Rugby’s ‘Project Rugby’ initiative, which is designed to increase participation in the game from people from traditionally underrepresented community groups, including those with disabilities. Having exceeded their initial target of 12,000 participants in the summer of 2018, well over 20,000 young people have now taken part in the Premiership Rugby project, with Harlequins reaching over 1,200 children this year alone.
Today’s event at The Stoop introduced the game to pupils from seven special education schools during hugely enjoyable morning sessions, before putting them through their paces in a set of fun matches in the afternoon.
Foundation Coordinator, and Disability Rugby lead, Matthew Williams said: “Mixed-ability events like these are the perfect way to allow more and more young people to experience our sport.
“Rugby is a game for everyone, no matter your background, and together with our partner schools we are using the power of sport to inspire and equip young people of all abilities to realise their potential.
“We are proud to work with initiatives like Project Rugby to bring people of all ages into the sport and promote the immense social benefits it can bring.”
Lead Projects Manager at Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust, Karen Cunningham added: “Orchard Hill College & Academy Trust’s Digital School were delighted to be part of the Disability Rugby Festival again this year.”
“It was brilliant to have so many young people taking part and popping into our Digital hub to try out the latest technology including Virtual Reality and Lego Education. Our Digital School is open every Friday at The Stoop for local schools and community groups to book sessions.”
If you would like to find out more about how the Harlequins Foundation are supporting mixed-ability rugby in the area, please contact Matthew Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.