Last year, The Harlequins Foundation’s Hounslow Development Officer, James Collins-Clark, started delivery of the Project Rugby programme in Kingsley School, where students were able to increase their knowledge of the sport and learn key skills.
The students took to the sport with huge enthusiasm no more so than Laiba Rahman.
Before last year, Laiba would bounce between sports like taekwondo and boxing but never really stayed put until The Harlequins Foundation delivered Project Rugby into Kingsley Academy.
Laiba really took to the sport and never missed a P.E. lesson and when it was announced that The Harlequins Foundation would run an after-school club she was one of the first students to sign up and really put her all into each session.
Having never played before, Laiba has gone onto do great things within rugby, transitioning into her local rugby club Grasshoppers RFC and is now representing her county, Middlesex.
Laiba’s mum, Zahida, said: “In the past Laiba considered playing rugby but didn’t know how too and when her teacher announced that there would be rugby in P.E. lessons delivered by The Harlequins Foundation, she was so excited and really looked forward to each lesson.
“I have noticed that Laiba is much happier and calmer than before and has finally found a sport that truly makes her happy as she feels like she now has a sense of belonging.
“She now has something to look forward to every week and feels as though she has a purpose and is determined to get better and better each training session.
“Laiba is so grateful for the work James and his team have put in by giving Laiba and other girls like her a platform to have the opportunity to get to know and play the wonderful sport.
James Collins-Clark, Foundation Development Officer for Hounslow said: “Laiba is someone who embraces things that she is passionate about and it is evident that she has fully embraced rugby.
“To successfully transition into a rugby club and be an integral part of her team is one thing but to be selected to represent her county is something else entirely in such a short period of time.”